Chattanooga, TN (April 15, 2016) EPB announced that it is advancing its Solar Share pilot project by seeking proposals from qualified contractors for the labor and materials needed to build the first of two community solar power generation facilities.
First announced on September 18, 2015, Solar Share was created through a partnership between EPB and the Tennessee Valley Authority. This groundbreaking initiative will be EPB’s first power generating project, with the first phase to be built in the Bakewell community of northern Hamilton County.
“We encourage qualified solar contractors to submit their proposals, and we look forward to working together to provide our customers with a reliable, environmentally-friendly energy source,” said EPB president David Wade. “Community solar power generation is a next step toward further enhancing the value of high-quality, reliable electric power delivered by the community’s smart grid.”
At the conclusion of a 30-day request for proposal period and a careful review of bids, EPB will select a qualified solar contractor to begin construction of the first Solar Share site in Bakewell by the beginning of this summer.
A second community solar power generation site is planned for construction near existing EPB facilities in Chattanooga. When both sites become operational, the project is expected to have a combined 1.35 megawatt generation capacity, which is enough power to meet the needs of approximately 125 houses.
Community solar projects like Solar Share are a great way for people to come together in supporting the development of additional sources of sustainable power generation. EPB is working to finalize the details for how customers can participate in Solar Share. If the project draws enough community participation, the initial deployment could be the first of many community-based solar deployments. Those who are interested in learning more are invited to call EPB at (423) 648-1372 to be added to the contact list for future updates.
Established as an independent board of the City of Chattanooga in 1935, EPB is a municipally-owned utility that provides electric power and fiber optic communications services as a means of promoting economic development and enhancing quality of life across the local area.
EPB serves nearly 180,000 homes and businesses in a 600 square-mile area that includes greater Chattanooga, as well as parts of surrounding counties and areas of North Georgia.
In 2010, EPB became the first provider in the United States to deliver up to 1 Gig (1,000 mbps) internet speeds utilizing a community-wide fiber optic network that provides access to every home and business in its service area. In 2015, EPB became the first (and to date) only American ISP to make up to 10 Gig (10,000 mbps) internet speeds accessible to all of its residential and commercial customers as a standard offer.
EPB has also utilized its community-wide fiber optic network to deploy the most advanced and highly automated smart grid power management system in the nation. In recognition of EPB’s groundbreaking infrastructure, the Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are utilizing EPB’s smart grid as a national model for researching and developing best practices. EPB is also the first major power distribution utility to earn the USGBC’s PEER certification for having a highly automated, modernized electric power grid.