AEC and MUC Jointly Award Renewable Solar Project to Sunrise Energy Ventures
White Pine, Tennessee, December 6, 2021 – Appalachian Electric Cooperative (AEC) and Morristown Utilities Commission (MUC) have selected Sunrise Energy Ventures to develop the Dancing Horse solar project in White Pine, Tennessee. The project’s system size will be 24.8 megawatts (MW) and is being recognized widely for being the first joint project in the Tennessee Valley. AEC and MUC were celebrated in October at the Tennessee Valley Solar Conference when they received the Solar Champion Award for their substantial contribution expanding solar in the region.
Sunrise was selected through a Request for Proposal process that was administered by Seven States Power Corporation. In November, both AEC and MUC passed resolutions authorizing Greg Williams, General Manager and Executive Vice President of AEC, and Jody Wigington, General Manager and CEO of MUC, to award the project to Sunrise. This collaboration paves the way for continued stable electric rates for both utilities.
“Sunrise is thrilled to be awarded another exciting project that will help Local Power Companies (LPCs) participate in TVA’s Flexibility Program,” said Dean Leischow, Sunrise CEO. “AEC and MUC have deservedly been recognized for their innovative approach to participating in this program that will undoubtedly act as a roadmap for future LPCs to draw on.”
This project will provide energy for an estimated 5,000 homes in the area, and the solar project will lower the carbon footprint in the communities we serve. Generated power will be split evenly between AEC and MUC with financial analysis indicating both utilities can each save upwards of $500,000 or more per year on their power cost. This savings will help offset potential rate increases in future years for AEC members and MUC customers. A targeted completion of June 2023 is expected. In addition, the environmental attributes of the project (Renewable Energy Credits) will be available to both AEC and MUC to be used to assist local industry in meeting environmental requirements.
AEC Manager, Greg Williams states, “This unique joint project represents what can be possible when two local power companies work together to leverage economies of scale and overcome challenges that otherwise would have limited the savings impact to both AEC and MUC. This opportunity would not have been available had TVA not created the Flexibility Option for local power companies, and we are grateful to the AEC Board of Directors for their support and vision of how such a project will create a 30-year benefit to the members of AEC.”
In addition, MUC Manager, Jody Wigington, remarked, “MUC is proud to partner with AEC in a project that financially benefits our rate payers and proves an environmental commitment to clean generation locally. TVA opened an important door to the future and this joint project proves that LPCs are ready to work together and walk through that door. The MUC Board of Commissioners clearly recognizes the long term importance of this opportunity for our customers.”
More about Sunrise Energy Ventures
Sunrise is a seasoned solar provider with strong experience in both municipal and cooperative renewables. Operating in multiple states, they are 100% privately owned, with no public listing, or foreign investors. Instead, they work locally to deliver solutions at the community level and partner with best-in-class technology and finance providers to deliver long-term value. Sunrise is a member of TenneSEIA, TVPPA, and TMEPA. They installed their first systems in the TVA region in 2010.
More about Appalachian Electric Cooperative
AEC receives power from TVA at four delivery point substations and operates 12 distribution substations across the service area, serving portions of Jefferson, Hamblen, Hawkins, Grainger and Sevier counties. AEC serves 48,672 members across 2,729 miles of utility line with a peak system demand of 330 MW.
More about Morristown Utilities Commission
The Morristown Utilities Commission (MUC) serves power to approximately 15,500 customers in the city of Morristown. With a peak system load of 170 MW, MUC receives power from TVA at two delivery point substations, which subsequently feeds ten distribution substations in a redundant scheme. All distribution lines are protected by state-of-the-art digital relays and multiple 3-phase reclosers, providing the optimum in line coordination and fault isolation.