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Green Power Options for MLGW Customers
 
Green power, or renewable energy, is electricity generated from sustainable resources such as the sun, wind and biomass. Green power produces little to no emissions, thereby improving air quality while also reducing dependency on traditional fossil fuels such as coal. Locally, all renewable energy projects so far have utilized solar panels, also called photovoltaics (PV). The cost of solar installations dropped nearly 70% in the 2010s, according to the Solar Electric Industry Association, contributing to a large number of installations nationwide and lower subsidies from utilities and the Federal government.

Customers have renewable power options through MLGW and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), MLGW’s power supplier.


RENEWABLES WITHOUT AN UPFRONT INVESTMENT (OFF-SITE)
  • Green Switch enables customers to support green power by making monthly contributions on their MLGW bill. For each $2.00 block purchased, TVA generates or purchases 200 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable power and places it on the region’s electric grid. Green Switch participants then rightfully can claim an equivalent portion of their electricity use comes from renewable sources. Green Switch is a certified Green-e Energy program.  There’s no contract to sign, so you can change your participation anytime.
  • Green Flex provides large volumes of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for businesses and organizations that need vast amounts to meet sustainability goals.  Green Flex RECs are derived from midwestern wind farms, with bunded electricity imported into the Tennessee Valley.  Each REC is $1.50 (current pricing subject to change) and enables the buyer to claim 1 MWh of electric usage as renewable.  Eligible participants must consume at least 2,000,000 kWh (or 2,000 MWh) annually.  Cost is invoiced separate from MLGW bill as an annual purchase.  Green Flex is a certified Green-e Energy program.  TVA retires RECs in the name of the participant.  Enrollment is limited, based on REC availability during each calendar year.  Contact us to learn more.


RENEWABLES WITH AN UPFRONT INVESTMENT (ON-SITE)
To learn more about solar generation technology, costs, output and how to find a quality installer, watch MLGW’s June 2021 Zoom session featuring speakers from MLGW, TVA and the Tennessee Solar Industries Association (TenneSEIA). 
  • Self-Generation enables customers to generate power for use at their homes or businesses. Any power generation in excess of instantaneous consumption flows to the MLGW grid without financial benefit, so it’s vital to size the generation capacity carefully and/or to include battery storage. (Industry research shows the average home uses about 60% of instantaneous solar output, while the average business uses about 80%.) MLGW’s current rate structure splits the fixed costs to serve customers into two parts--the monthly customer charge and as part of the per kWh energy charge. To avoid having all customers fully subsidize Self-Generation customers, MLGW bills a monthly Electric Service Availability charge for customers who self-generate. For residential customers, that charge is currently $13.00 and subject to change. For non-residential customers, the charge varies by applicable electric rate, currently beginning at $28.50 for GSA part 1 customers, and is subject to change. Self-Generation customers may opt to sell any excess power to TVA via the Dispersed Power Production program, described below. Access MLGW forms and resources.
     
  • Dispersed Power Production enables customers to install onsite renewable generation and sell all or a part of their output for a 5-year term to TVA, at its avoided cost, which varies monthly.  TVA pays the incentives directly, not as a credit on the MLGW bill. Customers retain the Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), which means they can claim an equal amount of their consumption comes from renewable sources. Individuals who own vacant land may use this option as well, since there is no requirement for the site to consume electricity. MLGW smart meters are required.  Access MLGW forms and resources.
     
  • Self Generation with Dispersed Power Production enables customers to combine the two options by using solar power onsite and then selling the instantaneous excess to TVA.  (See details in bullets above.) Access MLGW forms and resources.
     
  • TVA Renewables RFP enables entities to submit bids on proposed projects, typically utility-scale solar arrays with or without battery storage. Requests for Proposals are released periodically, based on TVA and market needs. Search “TVA Renewables RFP” for information about past specifications and any future opportunities.
     

Additional Information:
  • MLGW soon will launch TVA’s Green Connect program, which offers residential solar education resources and a Qualified Contractor Network of TVA-vetted solar installers who have the required licenses, industry-leading NABCEP certification and program training, and who also have agreed to operate using fair business practices for sales and high-quality installation.
 
  • Because MLGW has an all-requirements contract with TVA, we are prohibited from buying electricity from any other source. As a result, MLGW does not offer “net metering.” Should you wish to generate power for use onsite and sell the excess to TVA, then Self Generation with Dispersed Power Production is the applicable option.
     
  • Federal tax incentives are declining annually, with different project timeframes for residential and non-residential customers.  Legislation passed in late December 2020 altered the previous phase-out timeline.  Consult your tax advisor for specific advice.
     
    • Residential: 26% Federal tax incentives for solar installations placed in service before 1/1/2023, through a successful MLGW system acceptance test with documented permission to operate. Learn about the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit.
       
    • Non-residential: 26% Federal tax incentive for projects that begin construction by 12/31/2022. Learn more about the Business Energy Investment Tax Credit
       
  • Neither MLGW nor TVA provides financing for renewable generation. Businesses and certain categories of non-profits may qualify for low-interest loans through the Energy Efficiency Loan program at Pathway Lending. Visit www.pathwaylending.org for details about this program, which uses public and private funds to encourage investments in energy efficiency and renewable generation.