Chattanooga, TN (September 23, 2016) After a competitive bidding process, EPB announced the selection of Tennessee Valley Alternative Energy to construct Solar Share, Chattanooga's first community solar power generation project.
Solar Share, first announced on September 18, 2015, is a partnership between EPB and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to build a renewable power-generating facility at EPB’s Distribution Center, located at the intersection of North Holtzclaw Avenue and Oak Street. This pilot project is expected to generate about 1.35 megawatts of renewable electric power, which is enough to meet the needs of about 125 homes.
“We look forward to working with Tennessee Valley Alternative Energy, to provide our customers with a reliable, environmentally-responsible energy source,” said EPB president David Wade. “Community solar power generation is the next step in leveraging Chattanooga’s smart grid to deliver additional sources of power that fulfill our commitment to environmental stewardship.”
According to Tammy Bramlett, TVA Renewable Energy Solutions senior manager, her team has been working with EPB to structure Solar Share in a way that engages the community. “With EPB, we’ve developed an innovative approach to community solar generation that gives local people multiple ways to participate,” Bramlett said. “The future is bright for solar energy, and TVA is proud of its partnership with EPB.”
The timetable for construction will be determined soon with work scheduled for completion by the summer of 2017.
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. This pilot project 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.