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Thursday, October 11, 2018

TVA cuts support for solar
TVA, the nation's largest public utility, continues to lag behind much of the Southeast in solar growth, and the gap is getting wider as critics claim it has stunted the renewable technology in an attempt to avoid downsizing its infrastructure. TVA is in the midst of its slowest year of solar growth since 2011 after years of falling behind much of the region, according to data provided by a coalition of groups in favor of solar energy. TVA's three solar programs are all down drastically in growth year-over-year, with one failing to sign any new contracts in 2018. "I think it would be smart for TVA to be looking over the horizon rather than trying to discourage rapid uptake of renewable power sources," argues former EPA Chief of Staff Michael Vandenbergh, a leading scholar in environmental and energy law at Vanderbilt University. "I think in the long run, the smart move would be to embrace the future rather than to try to slow it down." North Carolina, Georgia and Florida all outproduce Tennessee in solar energy. TVA just recently reached 500 megawatts from solar, and growth could slow more in coming years. Growth for each solar program has slowed. TVA data also shows the company had fewer solar installations this year than in any year since 2009 and they have dropped off significantly since its peak in 2012 and 2013. The only states that have installed less solar than Tennessee so far this year are Wyoming, Montana, Kentucky and Mississippi. TVA plans to invest $8 billion in the next 20 years to increase renewable energy, spokesman Scott Fiedler said.

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