Electric company ‘flips the switch’ to clean energy

BOLIVAR, Tenn. — Rain and a lack of sunshine did not stop one electrical company from “flipping the switch” to cleaner energy.

Electric Company Flips The Switch To Clean Energy

Tuesday, the Bolivar Energy Authority held a “Flip the Switch” event to celebrate a new solar-powered energy farm. The farm consists of rows of solar panels that collectively generate 3.25 megawatts of power.

“Through our flexibility program with [Tennessee Valley Authority] and our partner with Silicon Valley to bring alternative, clean power to Hardeman County,” said Tony Kirk, the President and CEO of the Bolivar Energy Authority.

The solar farm was created not only to produce clean energy, but also to help the citizens of Bolivar save money.

Kirk says that this farm will stabilize rates and keep them as low as possible, stabilize the electric grid, and provide an economic boost to the county with the sales tax revenue from the farm.

“That’s what we’re looking for, to provide the most reliable power at the lowest cost we can,” Kirk said.

According to Ryan Leister, the Director of Customer Relations of West Tennessee for the TVA, the farm was provided by the TVA. He says they have been in the renewable energy business for around 20 years.

Electric Company Flips The Switch To Clean Energy

“For Bolivar, as I mentioned a couple of years ago, we created a partnership opportunity where our customers can now explore this opportunity of owning and operating local generation, as such as solar, that both works towards bringing diversified generation to our system as well as bringing carbon free generation to our system,” Leister said.

Leister said this solar farm will offset other potential carbon emitting generation by its existence.

This farm will not only serve as a local clean power source, but another clean source of energy for their whole system.

“Just in TVA service territory, which covers roughly seven states, including mostly the State of Tennessee. We’re roughly 55% carbon free emissions today, and so every one of these projects just help incrementally get us closer to our target of being a net zero,” Leister said.

Electric Company Flips The Switch To Clean Energy

The celebration was Tuesday. However, the solar farm has been active since December 21, 2022.

This farm helped supply power to around 300 homes during the winter storm that left many across Tennessee without power.

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