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Green Power Options for MLGW Customers
Green power, or renewable generation, is electricity created 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. If you are considering onsite solar generation, we encourage you to become familiar with MLGW and TVA requirements and application processes by following the links below.

  • 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 can claim an equivalent portion of their electricity use comes from renewable sources. There’s no contract to sign, so you can change your participation anytime.

    -  Residential customers can purchase as many blocks as they wish. Use this calculator to see your impactSign Me Up!  Tell me more.

    -  Non-residential customers can purchase as many blocks as they wish.  Sign Me Up!  Interested in large quantities of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)? Contact MLGW about new options for businesses and organizations with sustainability goals

    -  These local businesses proudly support Green Switch.

  • 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 other customers subsidize Self-Generation customers, MLGW bills a monthly Electric Service Availability charge for customers who self-generate. For residential customers, that charge is currently $12.76. For non-residential customers, the charge varies by applicable electric rate and currently begins at $27.48. Self-Generation customers may opt to sell any excess power to TVA via the Dispersed Power Production program, described below. Access MLGW forms.
  • Dispersed Power Production enables customers to install onsite renewable generation and sell all or a part of their output to TVA at short-term avoided costs, under a 5-year contract. TVA pays the incentives directly, not as a credit on the MLGW bill. Customers may retain the Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), if desired. Individuals who own vacant land may use this option as well, since there is no requirement for the site to consume electricity. Access MLGW forms.
  • 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.) 
  • Unsolicited Proposals enables potential generators to submit proposals for systems typically 2 MW and above. Unsolicited Proposals may be submitted anytime. Proposals should contain sufficient detail to allow TVA to determine whether the project meets its threefold mission of economic development, environmental stewardship and reliable, low-cost energy.
  • TVA Renewables RFP enables entities to submit bids on proposed projects, typically utility-scale solar arrays. 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:
  • 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.

    -  Residential: 26% Federal tax incentives for solar installations placed in service during 2020. Learn about the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit.

    -  Non-residential: 26% Federal tax incentive for projects that begin in calendar year 2020 and are completed before 1/1/2024. Learn more about the Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (including IRS Notice 2018-59 which defines eligible construction timelines; see table on page 3).
  • Neither MLGW nor TVA provides financing for renewable generation. Businesses and certain types of non-profits may qualify for low-interest loans through the Energy Efficiency Loan program at Pathway Lending. Visit for details about this program, which uses public and private funds to encourage investments in energy efficiency and renewable generation.
  • TVA’s Green Power Providers program closed to new applicants on 12/31/2019. Customers who submitted requests in fourth quarter 2019 will follow the necessary steps for MLGW/TVA application, installation, interconnection and acceptance testing to earn generation credits on their monthly MLGW bills. All existing Participation Agreements will be honored for their entire duration. If you have a solar array at your home or business and intend to move, please contact MLGW to transfer the remainder of your Participation Agreement to the new occupant.

    -  See annual generation from local Green Power Providers participants.

Interconnected Renewable Generation Capacity in Shelby Countyas of 12/31/2019, in kW DC