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MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2007
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Market for green power in downturn, TVA says

KNOXVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Valley Authority used to sell more renewable energy than it could produce, but now that situation has reversed.

TVA spokesman Gil Francis said the utility sold only 69 percent of its green power from March 2006 to February 2007.

The utility’s Green Power Switch program sells renewable energy to participating consumers at a slightly higher price than its traditionally generated power because it says the green power is more expensive to produce.

The 7-year-old program offers power in blocks of 150 kilowatt hours — about 12 percent of an average household’s monthly power usage — for $4 a piece.

The power comes from a wind farm on Buffalo Mountain, several solar power sites and a Memphis power plant that burns methane gas from a sewage treatment plant.

All of these sites together have a capacity to generate only 37 megawatts in TVA’s 35,000 megawatt system.

Green distributors

Francis said 98 of TVA’s 158 power distributors participate in the green power program, and as of March, almost 10,000 residential customers and more than 650 businesses were enrolled.

Several Tennessee universities in recent years have also established student fees to help pay for renewable energy and other environmental projects.

University of Memphis students earlier this month voted in support of a proposal to pay fees for renewable energy and other environmental projects at the campus, and could begin paying it this fall.

Renewable energy creates less waste and pollution than energy derived from coal, natural gas, oil and nuclear power, according to TVA’s Web site.

TVA is the nation’s largest public utility and powers most of Tennessee and parts of Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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