Tennessee Co-ops Welcome TVA’s First Grid-Scale Energy Storage System

TVA is preparing to launch its first grid-scale battery energy storage system in 2022. (Illustration Courtesy of TVA)
TVA is preparing to launch its first grid-scale battery energy storage system in 2022. (Illustration Courtesy of TVA)

Electric cooperatives served by the Tennessee Valley Authority are welcoming a grid-scale battery storage system the federal utility will install to facilitate lower-emission energy resources at a reasonable cost. 

TVA recently announced plans for its first owned and operated battery energy storage system that will supply up to 40 megawatt-hours of electricity, enough to serve more than 10,600 households for three hours.

The federally owned power provider expects to have the energy storage system online in 2022.

“Tennessee’s electric co-ops are advocates for innovative energy projects like this one,” said Trent Scott, vice president of corporate strategy for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association in Nashville.

“Advancements in battery storage technology has the potential to make the energy that co-ops deliver more reliable, affordable and sustainable.”

Scott added that a recent study of co-op member-consumers in Tennessee “found that they have an increasing appetite for greener, more renewable energy options, so we are pleased to see TVA invest in technology that may soon benefit co-op communities across the state.”

The project will use lithium-ion batteries—technology now used in many electric vehicles. It will be housed at an industrial complex in Vonore, Tennessee, about 35 miles southwest of Knoxville, where TVA expects the system to improve electrical service at manufacturing plants and for Loudon, a nearby municipality.  

“This pilot project will help us to innovate and adopt new technologies that will provide businesses clean, low-cost, reliable electricity while helping them meet their sustainability goals,” said Dale Harris, senior manager for research and development at TVA.

TVA last year announced a 20-year integrated resource plan that includes retiring 2,000 MW of coal generation and diversifying its resource mix with more solar energy, natural gas and energy storage.

Cathy Cash is a staff writer at NRECA.