Nashville to get 100 megawatts of solar power


Mayor Cooper’s administration has entered into a partnership with Nashville Electric Service, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and Vanderbilt University to construct 100 megawatts of utility-scale solar power under the TVA Green Invest program.

Vanderbilt will be a 25-megawatt co-subscriber to the solar array, thereby reaching its own 100 percent renewable-energy goal for campus operations. Metro-Nashville will be the first local government to pursue access to Green Invest in TVA territory.

On Metro’s and Vanderbilt’s behalf, TVA will contract with Silicon Ranch Corp. to build a solar array in Tullahoma, Tenn. The company was selected through TVA’s 2020 competitive procurement process for construction of up to 200 megawatts of solar power on the Tullahoma site.

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 megawatts 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. 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.”

Nashville Mayor John Cooper.

Metro’s 100 megawatts of solar power will produce the clean-electricity equivalent of carbon emissions from powering over 11,000 homes, or removing more than 14,000 cars from the road, every year for the 20-year term of the Power Purchase Agreement.

By reducing harmful air pollution, Metro’s and Vanderbilt’s combined 125 megawatts of solar energy will result in $3 to $6.8 million dollars of health benefits across Tennessee. In addition, Silicon Ranch Corp. estimates construction of the array will create 500 jobs in Middle Tennessee.

“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.”

Daniel Diermeier, chancellor, Vanderbilt University.

“We are proud of Metro-Nashville and Vanderbilt University for making this important commitment to providing renewable energy for our city. They are stepping up and supporting these efforts in a meaningful way. NES applauds these actions and hopes they will set a new standard for commercial customers that value sustainable energy improvements.”

Decosta Jenkins, president and CEO, Nashville Electric Service.
Anela Dokso

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