This is not the first time TVA has stood out in the Southeast on wind energy. In 2000, TVA established a contract (not accounted for above) to procure energy from the first commercial wind farm in the Southeast United States – now with a capacity of 27 MW – on Buffalo Mountain, near Oak Ridge, TN.
SACE applauds TVA’s leadership in identifying cost-effective mechanisms to incorporate wind energy in their supply resource. The opportunity for southern states to tap the abundant wind resources of the Midwest via transmission lines has caught the attention of utilities and private industry alike. Alabama Power Company recently started receiving 202 MW of wind energy from a wind farm in Oklahoma, and has been approved by the Alabama Public Service Commission to receive an additional 200 MW by 2014 from a wind farm in Kansas.
While TVA and Alabama Power wind purchases leverage existing transmission lines, several private companies such as Clean Line Energy Partners, are pursuing the development of new high voltage direct current transmission lines to connect additional wind resources to utilities across the south. The technical potential is significant. Wind energy in the south is evolving from a nuanced idea to an actual player in integrated resource planning. SACE plans to continue facilitating conversations with utilities and industry in helping to make wind and other renewable energy sources an economically viable option in the near term.