More than two years ago, the Seven States Power board of directors charted a new course, one where our energy services company would help members meet demand for renewable solutions. Now, as local power companies usher in a new era of distribution-level power supply flexibility through TVA’s Long-Term Partnership Agreement, we are uniquely positioned to help them achieve their goals.
“Time and again, the old adage that “when we work together everyone achieves more,” has proven true for the 154 local power companies in the Valley. said Seven States Power EVP Betsey Kirk McCall. “At Seven States Power we are leveraging the combined experiences and best practices of our member-owners and pulling from a deep well of technical knowledge and economies of scale to help them build for their future. Best of all, our efficient, creative and cost-effective services are keeping the resources, investment and expertise within the Valley.” Structured as a generation & transmission cooperative, Seven States is member-owned by the local power companies (LPCs) in the Valley, so the experience and revenue gained from each project extends to the benefit of the members.
When TVA distributed a revised Power Supply Flexibility Agreement in late June, our staff had already begun working with members to install renewable technologies. While some LPCs are just beginning to explore carbon-free or carbon-neutral technologies, others have been working with us for months in preparation for a summer project launch.
Several of our members are planning installation or expansion of solar coupled with large scale battery storage to maximize the operation and value of the solar array. Combined heat and power projects are in the early stages of development in Tennessee and Mississippi, one for an industrial customer and the other for a wastewater treatment facility.
“We are excited to see Seven States growing because we can complement each other as we get things going,” said Doug Perry, TVA’s senior vice president of commercial energy solutions. “We need to see more distribution-scale solar, and the Seven States team has the ability to work with LPCs to bring information, lessons learned, and support that will help them make the best decisions for the customers of the Valley.”
Perry noted that Seven State Power’s expertise in disciplines like commercial engineering, grid connection, contracts, project management and maximizing economies of scale can help LPCs that partner with the energy service company. He lauded the formation of Seven States Energy, LLC, to leverage tax incentives, own assets, and to complete member projects effectively and efficiently. According to Perry, about a dozen LPCs throughout the Valley have distribution-scale generation projects underway.
When recently asked about Seven States Power’s role as a vehicle for LPCs pursuing distribution-level flexibility projects, Appalachian Electric Cooperative General Manager Greg Williams said, “When I think of the words innovative technology and flexibility, Seven States comes to mind because those two things come together in the new world we live in. A few weeks ago, we didn’t have this capability or the opportunity to go out and generate our own electricity. We do today, and what better vehicle to do that than through turnkey projects with our own company, Seven States? It’s a better solution for the Valley.”