TVA and participating local public power companies, working with input from the environmental community, have created a program called Green Power Switch® to produce electricity from renewable sources and add it to the Tennessee Valley’s power mix.
Frying eggs from 93 million miles away—now that’s power.
The sun is an incredibly powerful source of energy. That’s why TVA is using photovoltaic panels to transform solar energy into usable electricity. When rays of sunshine strike a solar panel, they give some of the electrons inside it more energy, a process that creates an electrical current.
Power out of thin air—it’s no magic trick. Properly placed wind turbines can generate electric power anywhere the wind blows steady and strong. Wind turbines use the momentum of moving air to quietly turn large blades that are attached to the shaft of an efficient electric generator.
TVA’s wind power site is on Buffalo Mountain near Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In 2004, TVA greatly expanded its wind generating capacity when it added 15 very large turbines to the three original, smaller turbines at the site. Wind energy is now a major contributor to Green Power Switch.
Energy from methane gas is provided by the City of Memphis wastewater treatment facility, which produces a methane by-product that is co-fired with coal at TVA’s Allen Fossil Plant. The project provides eight megawatts of power production.
Methane is produced when organic wastes decay. The wastewater plant’s lagoon was covered to capture the methane, which otherwise would have to be burned, or flared, in order to reduce the hazard arising from gas buildup.
If methane is released directly into the atmosphere, it is a potent greenhouse gas. In fact, its global-warming potential is 21 times greater than that of carbon dioxide. Using it to generate energy encourages more efficient collection and thereby reduces emissions into the atmosphere. For this reason, energy recovery from methane, where economically viable, is of considerable benefit to the environment.
Besides diminishing global warming, the use of methane fuel eliminates the consumption of more than 20,000 tons of coal per year, reducing regional and local pollution. The project has been approved by the Center for Resource Solutions, the organization that accredits Green Power Switch.
Green Power Switch is sold in 150 kilowatt-hour blocks, which is the equivalent of around 12% of the electricity use of the average home in the Tennessee Valley region. Each block adds $4 to your monthly power bill.
Number of blocks / Percent of your home’s electricity
that green power can offset (based on the average)
1 Block/12% (150 kilowatt-hours) ($4)
2 Blocks/25% (300 kilowatt-hours) ($8)
3 Blocks/37% (450 kilowatt-hours) ($12)
4 Blocks/50% (600 kilowatt-hours) ($16)
5 Blocks/62% (750 kilowatt-hours) ($20)
8 Blocks/100% (1,200 kilowatt-hours) ($32)
If you are interested in learning more or would like to begin purchasing green power, click here or call Erwin Utilities at 423-743-1820 .
Green Power Switch is proud to be an official Green-e certified program. Green-e is a renewable electricity certification program administrated by the Center for Resource Solutions.