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TVA, Partners Seek $350 Million in DOE Grant Funding to Lower Energy Costs, Strengthen Grid and Increase Clean Energy

The Tennessee Valley Authority announced recently that it partnered with 15 local power companies to seek two grants, totaling $350 million, from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) 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 6 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.”   

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With TVA’s region growing three times faster than the national average and the University of Tennessee’s Baker School projecting the region’s population to grow 22% 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 4% below a year ago.  

As TVA builds new generation to serve the region’s growth, GRIP funding is critical because it will help deliver reliable, affordable, resilient, and clean energy to homes and businesses. If the funding is secured the projects will:  

  • Advance the quality of life in nearly 600 disadvantaged communities in the region. 
  • Create about 800 jobs while expanding relationships with minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned businesses.   
  • Invest a total of $760 million in disadvantaged communities that will support schools, hospitals, public safety organizations, and emergency shelters.   
  • Directly improve the lives of over 2.5 million customers, while reducing power bills and increasing access to renewable energy to 10 million consumers.  
  • Strengthens power grid by adding more transmission and distribution lines that include advanced conductors that will increase powerline capacity by 250%.  
  • Mitigate risk from extreme heat, wildfires, tornadoes, storms, and other severe weather events.  

DOE is administering $10.5 billion in GRIP grants to enhance grid flexibility and improve resilience of the power system against growing threats of extreme weather and climate change.  If funded, TVA and local power companies’ projects will provide critical support for state, regional, and national efforts to transition to a cleaner and more reliable grid affordably and equitably.   

“With nearly 60% carbon-free generation, we know we can do more, faster, should we be awarded this GRIP funding,” Herron said. “TVA is the clean energy model for the nation, and we will continue to partner to build a better future for everyone we serve.” 

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