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Green Power Switch News



In this Issue 2013 Green Power Switch Leadership Award Winners New Members of the GPS Product Family Banner Year for Wind, Solar & Green Power Switch UTK Makes the National Top 20 List of Green Powered Colleges and Universities TVA Green Power Providers and Green Power Switch Comply with FTC Green Marketing Guidelines Gibson County Students Get HandsOn Exposure Green Trendsetters Recognized

TVA and local public power companies, working in cooperation with the environmental community, developed Green Power Switch as a way to bring green power — electricity that’s generated by clean, renewable resources like solar, wind and methane gas — to valley consumers. Green Power Switch is an EnergyRight Solution. This newsletter is printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper.

A Letter From the Editor Your purchase of Green Power Switch celebrates your commitment to sustainable energy. You are taking action to express your concern for the environment, your interest in creating renewable energy jobs in Tennessee valley, and your hope for a future that is less dependent on fossil fuel. Every $4 block purchased is a building block in the new clean energy economy. As you read this newsletter, I want you to keep in mind that any milestone reached, any achievement mentioned would not have been possible without your support. I thank you, our customers and participants. You are the power behind Green Power Switch. Another vital component in making Jenny Wright in front of the TVA Buffalo the program a success is your local Mountain windfarm. power company. Each is staffed by a team of dedicated individuals who sacrifice their personal time and shift family responsibility so that he or she can do what they do so well: serve you, the electric customer. Green Power Switch would not exist without their support and dedication. From the person who keys in your data for your purchase, to the marketing department and webmaster who activates the link on the power company’s website, to the customer service department who handed you the sign-up form: thank you!! You are the best. Next time you see a power company representative, will you tell them how much you appreciate them? Will you thank them for adding the promotion of Green Power Switch to their list of tasks? Thanks for all you do!

Jenny Wright

Green Power Switch Offering Two Pilot Programs Green Power Switch Reflects TVA’s Commitment to Renewable Energy and Customer Choice Green Power Switch (GPS) gives electric customers an opportunity to support a “block” of renewable energy for a low $4 a month. These blocks represent 150 kilowatt-hours of electricity generated from renewable sources such as wind and solar. Each $4 purchase is backed by an independent third-party’s environmental certification. It’s a simple way for you to increase use of renewable energy today for a cleaner environment in the future.

In the last two years, Green Power Switch (GPS) has been developing new options to ensure the program continues to meet the needs of valley consumers. This effort has led to the identification of two new products to include in the Green Power Switch product line. Consumer interest is being tested in several TVA service areas. This process, called a pilot, is when TVA asks for power company volunteers to offer this new product in order to “test the waters” of customer interest. The residential, commercial, and industrial electric users are then invited to participate in the new green power option. Customer reaction to the new program helps inform TVA about whether the program should be expanded as an option throughout the Tennessee valley. Starting in 2012 and extending through 2013, two new product options are being piloted in six valley regions. Participating regions include Bristol, VA, and Bowling Green, KY, as well as four locations in Tennessee: Oak Ridge, Chattanooga, Lenoir City and Knoxville. The products are described below.

2012 – 2013 GPS Pilot Options

Connect with Us! TVAGreenPowerSwitch

GPS “Southeastern RECs” is a highvolume option that provides a lowercost bulk purchase option for larger consumers of electricity. A REC

(Renewable Energy Certificate) is the “currency” of renewable energy markets. Each REC represents 1,000 kilowatt hours (one megawatt hour) of renewable energy, and is created when renewable energy is generated. Southeastern RECs cost $3 per REC with a minimum annual purchase of 2,000 RECs. Each of these Green-e Certified RECs is TVAcontracted and sourced from a renewable energy facility within the southeast. With this pilot program, TVA established additional recognition opportunities for participants. The recognition program should appeal to large commercial and industrial customers. The buyer may use its green power purchase to demonstrate its commitment the environment to customers and employees, or for meeting its own internal or external sustainability goals. GPS “Pure Solar” is sourced from Generation Partners and Green Power Providers solar, and appeals to residential and small business customers who wish to support solar but are unable to install their own solar array. This option carries a higher premium than the existing GPS option due to the higher supply source cost. While this product is sourced from invalley renewable sites that meet the criteria for Green-e certification, this product is not certified. This decision allows TVA and local power companies to offer an $8 price per pure solar block.


DID YOU KNOW? Display your Green Power Switch Pride with the Enclosed Sticker This Green Power Switch sticker perfect for displaying on your bike, notebook, or electric car. We made the switch. HAVE YOU? Let your friends, family, and community know about your support of renewable energy through this token of our appreciation.

The growth of clean wind energy is great for American manufacturers — 70 percent of the equipment installed at U.S. wind farms last year came from domestic manufacturers, doubling from 35 percent in 2005. Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Banner Year for Wind, Solar & Green Power Switch Last year was not only the biggest year ever for Green Power Switch, it was also the biggest year for wind and solar power in the United States. Coincidence? We don’t think so. The graph at right shows how many megawatt hours of renewable energy was sold through Green Power Switch over the past five years. Sales of the new pilot program for Southeastern RECs (see story herein on “New Members of the GPS Product Family”) helped boost an already steadily growing demand for regional renewable energy. The greater market for renewable energy was bolstered by decreasing costs for wind and solar technologies. Solar Energy Industries Association released its annual U.S. Solar Market Insight report for 2012 and it’s chock-full of good

news. For example, photovoltaic (PV) installations grew 76% over 2011, to total 3,313 megawatts in 2012. Nearly 83,000 homes installed solar PV, and cumulative PV installations in the U.S. surpassed 300,000.

MWh 140,000 120,000

The wind industry also had an historic year. For the first time, wind energy was the top source of all new electricity generation facilities put online in the U.S. in 2012. American Wind Energy Association announced that 2012 saw a record 13,124 megawatts of new wind electric generating capacity in the U.S., achieving over 60,000 MW of cumulative wind capacity. That is enough wind power to power the equivalent of almost 15 million homes. Thanks for playing a part in this amazing success story.

100,000 80,000 60,000 40,000 20,000 0 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Megawatt hours (MWh) of renewable energy sold through Green Power Switch over the past five years

UTK Makes the National Top 20 List of Green Powered Colleges and Universities Source: Excerpted from the University of Tennessee’s press release The University of Tennessee was recently selected as a Top 20 green power-using university by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership. The partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the

environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use. UT ranked 10th on the January 2013 list after not being ranked the previous year. UT is the only SEC school in the Top 10 and was noted for its use of biogas, small-hydro, solar and wind resources, as well as its partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority, according to UT. UT’s commitment to environmental responsibility also has been recognized

by the Princeton Review and by the Sustainable Endowments Institute. Over the past eight years, the campus has used funds from the student environmental fee to gradually increase the amount of green power it purchases. UT is a participant in the Green Power Switch pilot program that offers Southeastern RECs for large volume buyers.

Green Power Switch Complies with FTC Green Marketing Guidelines The Federal Trade Commission’s new Green Guides say marketers need to clarify what qualifies as “recyclable,” “recycled content” and “compostable” and, for the first time, other terms including “carbon offsets,” “non-toxic” and “renewable energy.” Participants in TVA’s Green Power Providers program legally transfer the environmental rights of the energy produced to TVA. Green Power Providers is a program offered by TVA and

participating local power companies that provides valley residents and businesses with an incentive to install and to operate their own renewable energy system.

from making public claims about being solar powered because that would constitute double-counting of the renewable energy, since GPS customers will also make that claim.

Participants in Green Power Providers sell the environmental attributes of their renewable system. TVA pays a premium on top of the retail rate for those environmental attributes and uses them as supply for customers purchasing Green Power Switch. Customers participating in GPP should refrain

TVA also provides other sources of renewable energy for GPS. The Green-e Energy program that certifies Green Power Switch helps TVA ensure that it is meeting best practices in environmental claims.

Gibson County Students Get Hands-On Exposure Source: Jenni Lynn Rachels of Gibson EMC, reprinted from the December 2012 issue of Tennessee Magazine

was different than most, so they had the opportunity to go through the entire installation process.”

Gibson Electric Membership Corporation member Denney McDonald has always been fascinated by solar energy and how it works. A recent installation of solar panels on his downtown building in Medina proves that he not only cares about the environment, but also about the future of our students.

The students were required to adapt to McDonald’s pre-existing building that faced 280 degrees (west/northwest) instead of south, which is at 160 degrees. This challenge was an example of those they would face after graduation.

Students at Tennessee Technological Center at McKenzie welcomed McDonald’s offer to receive hands-on training with the installation. Tennessee Tech green technology instructor Bruce Moore was grateful for the opportunity to provide his students with the valuable learning experience of installing the solar panels. “This project was a real job for the students,” Moore said. “The roof structure

“We are fortunate that Denney allowed us to complete this project because our students received beneficial real-world experience in their area of study,” said Moore. “That is something you can’t learn in a classroom.” McDonald is happy with the experience and the results, too. “I am pleased with the efficiency of the panels as well as the work the students did on the installation,” he said. “They were a fun group that worked fast and did a wonderful job.”

Students participating in the solar panel installation are, from left, Scott Herndon, Joseph Thompson, Tyler Dunning, Joseph Redmond, Mark Baucom, Jason Wylie and Terry Campbell. Not pictured are Curtis Mathis and Jimmy Tosh. All are part of the two-year green technology program at Tennessee Technological Center at McKenzie. Photo by Bruce Moore.

Green Trendsetters Recognized Leading businesses from around the Tennessee valley are being praised for their commitment to renewable energy this April. Green Power Switch will honor regional businesses and local power companies that are demonstrating leadership in sustainability by combining a purchase of Green Power Switch with other initiatives. The GPS Leadership Awards will be presented in 14 categories.

The seven local power companies that will be recognized for leading the pack in terms of customer sign-ups and amount of renewable energy purchased are listed in the 2013 Green Power Switch Leadership Awards article in this newsletter. In addition to the local power companies that will receive Green Power Switch Leadership awards, businesses will be recognized based on such criteria as the volume of Green

Power Switch blocks purchased and the percentage of energy consumption offset by clean renewable energy. This program is successful only through the efforts of people and businesses who commit to making the region a bit ‘greener’ each month. We are proud to recognize those going above and beyond the norm in supporting Green Power Switch.

Winners for each of the consumer and business categories: Innovator of the Year — Energy Efficiency: DayBrite Lighting, Tupelo, MS Innovator of the Year — Renewable Generation: Maryville College, Maryville, TN Business of the Year: ColorMasters, Albertville, AL

Community of the Year: City of Knoxville, TN Workplace Champion of the Year: BASF, Chattanooga, TN Sustainable Pioneer: University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

Generation UpdatE August – December 2012 Solar Power 137,136 kWh

Wind Power

19,098,496 kWh


9,320,083 kWh

Green Power Providers Solar – 36,696,396 kWh Wind – 3,020 kWh Biogas – 24,342,566 kWh Micro Hydro – 6,779 kWh

Program Sales to Date* 749,233 MWh

*Sales are reported through December 2012

To learn more about our generation sites and to find the one nearest you, please visit

Participation Update As of December 2012

24,130 | Total number of green power blocks subscribed by residential customers 11,789 | Number of residential customers subscribing 13,086 | Total number of green power blocks subscribed by business customers 511 | Number of business customers subscribing

2013 Green Power Switch Leadership Awards At this year’s Green Power Switch Leadership Awards Dinner, which will be held April 23, 2013 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, 14 valley businesses will be recognized for their outstanding achievements in sustainability. TVA will recognize the seven local power company partners listed below, and TVA and local power companies will jointly recognize seven businesses from across the valley who are listed in the subsequent article 2012 Green Trendsetters Recognized. Companies like these set themselves apart from their competition by including renewable energy, energy efficiency, and other sustainable initiatives in their operations.

Pictured from left to right: Jenny Wright (TVA), Steve Noe (Knoxville Utilities Board), Larry Denman (Huntsville Utilities), Susan Curtis (TVA)

Leader of the Year — Total Sales Knoxville Utilities Board

Catalyst Award Cookeville Electric Department

Leader of the Year — Percent of Electricity Sales Tullahoma Board of Public Utilities

Pacesetter Award Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation

Top Recruiter of the Year — Total Customers Memphis Light, Gas and Water

Local Power Company Innovator of the Year Appalachian Electric Cooperative

Top Recruiter of the Year — Total Sales Huntsville Utilities

Below is the Product Content Label for Green Power Switch. The label is a requirement of our Green-e Energy certification, and displays the mix of renewable energy resources used to serve Green Power Switch customers during 2012, as well as projections for 2013 supply. HISTORIC PRODUCT CONTENT LABEL

pilots Update** As of December 2012

135 | Pure Solar customers 276 | Pure Solar blocks (50 kWh each) 2 | Southeastern RECs customers 7,000 | MWh purchased monthly through Southeastern RECs **Pure Solar and Southeastern RECs are new Green Power Switch options that are being tested in certain areas during 2012 and 2013. Pure Solar is 100% supplied by locally owned solar installations, sold in blocks of 50 kWh for $8 each. Southeastern RECs is a more affordable option for high-volume purchases. For a minimum purchase of $6,000 annually, a customer can purchase 2,000 MWh of renewable electricity from a combination of local solar and additional sources within a broader portion of the Southeastern United States. These new customer options are currently being assessed to determine whether they will be continued. See and to learn more.

Green Power Switch is a voluntary renewable energy program from Tennessee Valley Authority and participating local power companies. The product is sold in blocks of 150 kilowatt-hours (kWh), and is made up of the following renewable resources. 2

Green-e Energy Certified New Renewables in Green Power Switch 2012

2013 (projected)





35.8% 6.6%







Generation Location 2012


2013 (projected)


1. These figures reflect the power that we have contracted to provide. Actual figures may vary according to resource availability. We will annually report to you the actual resource mix of the electricity you purchased during the preceding year. 2. New Renewables come from generation facilities that first began commercial operation on or after January 1, 1999. 3. Eligible hydroelectric facilities are defined in the Green-e Energy National Standard ( and include facilities certified by the Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) (; facilities that are run-of-the-river hydropower facilities with a total rated nameplate capacity equal to or less than 5 MW; and facilities comprised of a turbine in a pipeline or a turbine in an irrigation canal. For comparison, the current average mix of resources supplying the TVA region includes: Coal (45%), Nuclear (29 %), Natural Gas (13 %), Hydroelectric (9 %), and Other (4 %). [Source-TVA FY2011] The average home in the Tennessee Valley uses 1,335 kWh per month. [Source: Energy Information Administration] For specific information about this electricity product, please contact your local power company or TVA Green Power Switch at, the toll free Renewable Energy Information Call Center at 1-866-673-4340, or visit

Green-e Energy certifies that Green Power Switch meets the minimum environmental and consumer protection standards established by the non-profit Center for Resource Solutions. For more information on Green-e Energy certification requirements, call 1-888-63-GREEN or log on to

Spring is Here, Earth Day is Around the Corner April 22 is Earth Day in the Tennessee valley and around the world. Several large celebrations will be held throughout the region, including: • Nashville’s Earth Day Festival April 20, Centennial Park, 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. • Knoxville’s EarthFest 2013 April 20, Pellissippi State Community College’s Hardin Valley campus, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. • Earth Day & YMCA Healthy Kids Day April 20, Hopkinsville Community College, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. • Earth Week in Gatlinburg April 25, Mynatt Park, 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. • 2013 Down To Earth Festival April 20, Shelby Farms Park, Memphis, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that Mother Nature cooperates by providing good weather!

1101 Market St., LP 3S Chattanooga, TN 37402-2881 TVA and your local power company


Green Power Switch News Spring 2013  
Green Power Switch News Spring 2013  

Newsletter from TVA's Green Power Switch program