Strong enough to fry eggs from 93 million miles away, the sun is an incredibly powerful energy source. According to researchers, the availability of solar energy far exceeds global energy consumption. That's why TVA collects solar power with photovoltaic panels to transform into usable electricity.
When rays of sunshine strike a solar panel, they give energy to electrons inside it, creating an electric current.
The energy from solar power will be small at first, but TVA plans to grow the Green Power Switch Program's solar component.
You can install your own solar system and be paid for the energy you produce. Find out how through our Green Power Providers.
Power out of thin air-it's no magic trick. Properly placed turbines can generate electric power anywhere the wind blows steady and strong. Wind turbines use the momentum of moving air to quietly turn large blades attached to an efficient electric generator.
TVA has 18 turbines at its wind power-generating site on Buffalo Mountain near Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The turbines make wind energy a major part of Green Power Switch, producing 29 megawatts of generation, or enough to power about 3,780 homes.
Methane Gas Energy
Decaying organic waste produces methane. TVA’s Allen Fossil Plant uses a methane by-product, which it co-fires with coal, to generate four megawatts of power.
If methane is released directly into the atmosphere, it is a potent greenhouse gas. In fact, its global-warming potential is 21 times greater than that of carbon dioxide.
Viewing methane as a resource for generating energy provides an incentive for more efficient methane collection, thereby reducing emissions. For that reason, energy recovery from methane, where economically viable, provides considerable benefit to the environment.
Besides diminishing global warming, using methane fuel eliminates the consumption of more than 8,000 tons of coal, reducing regional and local air pollution. The Center for Resource Solutions, the organization that accredits the program, approved TVA's methane project.