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Green Power Switch

green power switchTVA and participating local public power companies, working with input from the environmental community, have created a program called Green Power Switch® to produce electricity from renewable sources and add it to the Tennessee Valley’s power mix

TVA and participating power distributors offer consumers a great opportunity to support the growth of green power in the Tennessee Valley. It’s called Green Power Providers program (GPP). This program provides support and incentives for the installation of solar and wind generating facilities. This makes more green power available for GPP subscribers, and it creates a market for small-scale green power generation by homeowners and small businesses.

TVA applications for the Green Power Providers program are available online and must be submitted to TVA’s website.  Applicants should carefully read the 2016 Green Power Providers Program Participation Guidelines and description of the application process before applying with Newport Utilities.  The procedures for the GPP application process are separate from NU interconnection process and are included online at the website above under the Applicaton Process link with further details listed under the caption “How the Program Works”.

Additional Green Power Information

Green power and renewable energy are often confused as being two terms used to describe the same thing. In fact this is not the case. Not all sources of power generation have the same environmental benefits and costs.

Green power is a subset of renewable energy (shown below in the graph) and represents those renewable energy resources and technologies that provide the highest environmental benefit. EPA defines green power as electricity produced from solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass, and low-impact small hydroelectric sources. Customers often buy green power for avoided environmental impacts and its greenhouse gas reduction benefits.

(graph supplied by EPA)

Green power sources produce electricity with an environmental profile superior to conventional power technologies and produce no anthropogenic (human caused) greenhouse gas emissions. EPA requires that green power sources must also have been built since the beginning of the voluntary market (1/1/1997) in order to support “new” renewable energy development.

Renewable energy includes resources that rely on fuel sources that restore themselves over short periods of time and do not diminish. Such fuel sources include the sun, wind, moving water, organic plant and waste material (biomass), and the earth’s heat (geothermal). Although the impacts are small, some renewable energy technologies have an impact on the environment. For example, large hydroelectric resources can have environmental trade-offs associated with issues such as fisheries and land use.

Conventional power includes the combustion of fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil) and the nuclear fission of uranium. Fossil fuels have environmental costs from mining, drilling, or extraction, and emit greenhouse gases and air pollution during combustion. Although nuclear power generation emits no greenhouse gases during power generation, it does require mining, extraction, and long-term radioactive waste storage.

Type of Emissions

Anthropogenic emissions are produced as a result of human activity that unnaturally releases CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. One of the largest sources of anthropogenic CO2 emissions is the combustion of fossil fuels or fossil fuel-based products to produce electricity.

Biogenic emissions, in contrast, result from natural biological processes, such as the decomposition or combustion of vegetative matter. Biogenic emissions are part of a closed carbon loop. Biogenic CO2 emissions are balanced by the natural uptake of CO2 by growing vegetation, resulting in a net zero contribution of CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. Examples of biogenic emission sources include burning vegetation (biomass) to produce electricity or using plant-based bio fuels for transport.

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