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Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
June 16, 2024 | Tom Ballard

TVA, partners seeking two grants totaling $350 million

The applications to the Department of Energy would fund 141 energy security projects to ensure local communities have access to reliable, affordable, clean electricity.

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) announced Thursday that it partnered with 15 local power companies and the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association to seek two grants, totaling $350 million, from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships Program to fund 141 energy security projects to ensure local communities have access to reliable, affordable, clean electricity.

If awarded, the grants will enable the construction of an inter-regional 800-megawatt transmission line to bring wind power to the region, will increase grid capacity by about 5,500 megawatts, and will unlock more than six gigawatts of solar in TVA’s interconnection queue to support economic growth and expand clean energy across seven states. Through its partnership with others, TVA reports that the Valley region has already secured over $300 million in federal funding grants for 15 community projects through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act.

“With the sustained growth we’re seeing across the region, we developed this coalition to leverage this historic funding opportunity to add transmission and distribution capacity for the 10 million people in the Valley,” said Cindy Herron, TVA Federal Funding vice president. “If awarded, these DOE grants will help meet our region’s growth challenges by funding innovative solutions that will deliver vast amounts of affordable, clean energy and a sustained, competitive advantage to communities we support.”

With TVA’s region growing three times faster than the national average and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Baker School projecting the region’s population to grow 22 percent by 2050, TVA is building more than 3,800 megawatts of additional generation that includes solar, energy storage, combustion turbines and combined-cycle natural gas. TVA is making good progress building additional generation with 1,400 megawatts completed and securing about 800 megawatts of new solar.

In total, TVA has more than 4,000 megawatts of solar energy either in service or under construction. TVA is a clean energy leader and plans to have 10,000 megawatts of renewable energy by 2035 and is working to be net-zero by 2050. TVA investments in technology and carbon-free energy have resulted in the price of electricity for the first three months of calendar year 2024 being four percent below a year ago.

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