Solar Power Rebates, Tax Credits and Solar Panel Incentives in Tennessee; 2012 Update
The Tennessee Valley Authority has a solar program that incorporates both an upfront incentive and also an ongoing performance incentive. The energy generated from these renewable generation systems will count towards TVA's green power pricing program, Green Power Switch. TVA will purchase 100% of the output from a qualifying PV system at a premium of $0.12 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) on top of the retail electricity rate and $0.03 per kilowatt-hour on top of the retail electricity rate for wind, low-impact hydro, and biomass. All new participants in the Generation Partners program will receive a $1,000 incentive to offset the upfront cost. TVA will retain all rights to any renewable energy credits (including tradable renewable credits or green tags) or other associated benefits of energy generated from the renewable nature of the system. If a qualifying system produces more electricity than the customer consumes, payment for any excess credits will be issued either monthly or annually, at the discretion of the power company. The contract term is 10 years. Qualifying systems must have a minimum output of 500 watts and a maximum output of 50 kilowatts (kW). Installations must also comply with local codes and adhere to guidelines established by the program. All equipment must be in compliance with environmental regulations and national standards, certified by a licensed electrician, and meet all applicable codes. Systems must be dual-metered, have an external disconnect switch, be grid-tied, and be validated under an interconnection agreement.
TVA is in the process updating the Generation Partners program, including a name change. Programmatic changes are expected to be finalized in April 2012, and customers may continue to apply for the existing Generation Partners program until that time. See the TVA website for more details of the coming "Green Power Providers" program.
Here is an example of the financial return you can get from a system under the current parameters (April 2012):
|Size of System (kw)||
|Space required (square feet)||
|Price of system per watt||
|Price of power (marginal cost high usage kwh's) $ per kwh||
|Average daily kwh produced per 1 kw of solar||
|Total average daily production||
|Total Price (before incentives)||
|Federal Tax Credit||
|State Tax Credit|
|Actual out of pocket cost after incentives claimed||
|Annual Power production||
|Total Annual Energy savings based on consumption on 50% of power generated||
|Annual income from exported power (production incentive)||
|Total Annual Return||
|Annual Return on Investment||
|Annual Return at 5 years (based on 7% power price increases per annum)||
|Payback time||8 years|
Well that's quite good if you are looking at getting into solar power in Tennessee, it was only a few years ago that pay back times were over 10 years. So if you have read this far why not click 'here" and get some quotes from local solar professionals.