TVA Seeks Comments on Environmental Assessment of Ashley Wind Farm

Guest Blog | December 3, 2010 | Energy Policy

Schematic of the Ashley Wind Farm from TVA's Environmental Assessment
Schematic of the Ashley Wind Farm from TVA's EA

TVA is accepting comments through December 4 on the draft environmental assessment for the construction of the Ashley Wind Energy Project. TVA plans to purchase the wind energy generated from the Ashley wind farm, which will be constructed in North Dakota.

The wind energy purchase is a result of TVA’s December 2008 Request for Proposals for Renewable Energy and/or Clean Energy Sources. The RFP was a significant step toward reducing dependence on fossil fuels, by increasing energy production with cost effective renewable energy sources.

As Brandon Blevins wrote in March 2010, the reason we’re purchasing out-of-valley wind energy is the low price. TVA has not released the purchase price for these wind projects because that information could affect future price negotiations, but you can bet the purchase prices, per kilowatt-hour generated, were in-line with TVA’s conventional forms of energy.

Not only does the wind energy come at a good price, but the cost of electricity won’t fluctuate with the price of fuels like natural gas or coal; it’s a stable cost investment.

Even though the wind farm won’t be located in the Tennessee Valley, we’ll still be able to see its environmental benefits. As estimated in the Environmental Assessment for the Ashley Wind Energy Project, TVA can avoid up to 700,000 tons of coal-fired CO2 emissions, or up to 400,000 tons of gas-fired CO2 emissions, per year during the life of the Ashley Wind Energy Project. The power generated from the Ashley Wind Energy Project will also avoid significant amounts of other air pollutants such as mercury, sulfur oxides, and nitrogen oxides that would otherwise be emitted by conventional energy sources in the Tennessee Valley area.

In addition to the Ashley Wind Energy Project, SACE encourages the TVA to continue its wind energy purchases, especially projects within the Tennessee Valley region.

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