Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s administration announced a partnership with Nashville Electric Service, the Tennessee Valley Authority and Vanderbilt University to construct 100 MW of utility-scale solar power under the TVA Green Invest program — placing Metro General Government operations over one-third of the way toward being sourced with 100% renewable energy and enabling Metro to meet a 2025 benchmark for renewables established by Council legislation. Vanderbilt will be a 25-MW co-subscriber to the solar array, thereby reaching its own 100% renewable energy goal for campus operations. Metro-Nashville will be the first local government to pursue access to Green Invest in TVA territory.
“We hope this groundbreaking partnership between government, business, and universities will be a model of innovative collaboration to address the most important issues of our time,” said Daniel Diermeier, Chancellor, Vanderbilt University.
On Metro’s and Vanderbilt’s behalf, TVA will contract with Nashville-based Silicon Ranch to build a solar array in Tullahoma, Tennessee. The company was selected through TVA’s 2020 competitive procurement process. There will be no fiscal impact to Metro’s operating budget until Fall of 2023 when construction of the array is expected to be complete and it is online, generating clean, renewable power.
“Not only will 100 MW of solar power help mitigate a changing climate by affordably and efficiently meeting Metro’s 2025 clean-energy goal, it also puts Tennesseans to work and provides cleaner air during a pandemic characterized by respiratory distress,” said Nashville Mayor John Cooper. “This public-private partnership will serve as a model for NES’s other large customers to replicate. I challenge Nashville’s corporate sector and major institutions to consider TVA Green Invest as a smart way to prepare for what must be a greener future.”
Silicon Ranch estimates construction of the array will create 500 jobs in Middle Tennessee.
As the first local government to pursue access to TVA Green Invest, Nashville earns “lead by example” status in this policy area, facilitates an additional layer of transparency to TVA’s process and programmatic structure, and offers the benefit of precedent and lessons-learned to other municipalities in the Valley.
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