EPB Launches Solar Share: An Easy Option for locally generated Renewable Energy

Date: July 11, 2017

Chattanooga, TN (July 11, 2017) – With the construction of Solar Share now complete, EPB’s Electric Power customers have several new options for participating in renewable energy with Chattanooga’s first community solar power facility.

Working in partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), EPB established the Solar Share facility along Holtzclaw Avenue across from Warner Park. The installation of 4,408 solar panels can generate up to 1.3 megawatts of solar power, which is enough to meet the average energy needs of about 130 homes. 

Solar Share is Chattanooga’s first community-based project to generate greener, more sustainable energy for our city,” said EPB Board of Directors Chairman Joe Ferguson. “Solar Share makes it easy for EPB customers to participate in renewable energy generation.”

“TVA is committed to a cleaner future, and we’re proud to partner with EPB because Solar Share makes reliable, low-cost, carbon-free electricity an easy choice,” said Tammy Bramlett, TVA Director of Business Development & Renewables. “EPB is a leader, and we see a bright renewable energy future for projects like this across the Tennessee Valley.”

“Thanks to this partnership between TVA and EPB, the Chattanooga area has a valuable new resource for pioneering Smart Grid solutions that will benefit the rest of America,” said U.S. Representative Chuck Fleischmann of Chattanooga. “Working with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Solar Share gives EPB a new avenue to serve as America’s Living Laboratory in the development of best practices for using an advanced smart grid to dynamically manage the variability of solar power generation.”

"Chattanooga is stronger today because of visionary leaders who realized decades ago the importance of cleaning up our environment and a thriving economy," said Mayor Andy Berke. "Today, as we grow the new innovation economy, we can maximize our sustainability efforts through projects like Solar Share, which demonstrates an innovative solution while empowering Chattanoogans with environmentally-friendly options."

With more Hamilton County Schools adopting the STEM curriculum, Solar Share serves as an example for students to realize the benefits of success in these areas of study. “Students in several schools have already been engaged with imagining new ways to put the sun’s energy to work,” said Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger. “Solar Share exemplifies what’s possible now, and the opportunities of tomorrow.” 

According to David Wade, president and CEO of EPB, Solar Share allows customers to benefit from EPB’s energy expertise. “With decades of experience in constructing and managing our community’s electrical infrastructure, EPB is able to provide customers with worry-free, renewable energy solutions that fit their needs and budget,” Wade said. “Participating in Solar Share is like joining a community pool. It’s affordable because you share the cost among all the participants, but you get to fully enjoy the benefits without having to worry about construction, maintenance, or liability.”

EPB customers have several ways to enjoy the benefits of Solar Share:

  • For a one-time payment of $680 per panel plus an annual maintenance fee of $10 per panel, customers may buy a 20-year license that entitles them to a monthly bill credit equal to the amount of power generated by the selected number of panels. This option is designed to provide the generation benefits of installing solar panels on a customer’s roof, but without the construction project.
  • For a monthly payment of $5 per panel, customers receive a monthly power credit equal to the generation value of the selected number of panels. This option is designed to provide the generation benefits of leasing solar generation. It creates a low-cost path for participating in Solar Share without making a long-term commitment.
  • For $5 per 100 kWh customers may purchase Renewable Energy Offsets which will allow them to offset the environmental impact of activities like cooling their home, commuting to work or hosting a wedding.

Following the Grand Opening of Solar Share, EPB is hosting Open House events to give people who have expressed interest in the project an opportunity to speak one-on-one with EPB energy experts. 

People may learn more about Solar Share at www.epb.com/solarshare and call to sign up at (423) 648-1372.

About EPB

Established as an independent board of the City of Chattanooga in 1935, EPB is a municipally-owned utility that provides electric power and fiber optic communications services as a means of promoting economic development and enhancing quality of life across the local area. 

EPB serves more than 170,000 homes and businesses in a 600 square-mile area that includes greater Chattanooga, as well as parts of surrounding counties and areas of North Georgia. 

In 2010, EPB became the first provider in the United States to deliver up to 1 Gig (1,000 mbps) internet speeds utilizing a community-wide fiber optic network that provides access to every home and business in its service area. In 2015, EPB became the first, and to date, only American ISP to make up to 10 Gig (10,000 mbps) internet speeds accessible to all of its residential and commercial customers as a standard offer. 

EPB has also utilized its community-wide fiber optic network to deploy the most advanced and highly automated smart grid power management system in the nation. In recognition of EPB’s groundbreaking infrastructure, the Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are utilizing EPB’s smart grid as a national model for researching and developing best practices. EPB is also the first major power distribution utility to earn the USGBC’s PEER certification for having a highly automated, modernized electric power grid. For more information, go to EPB.com.