In a continuing effort to reduce its carbon footprint, the Tennessee Valley Authority is considering building a giant solar farm in north Alabama.
The federal utility said Thursday it holds a two-year purchase option on 3,000 acres in Lawrence County. TVA will conduct an array of studies on the site to determine the solar farm’s feasibility.
“Solar expansion plays a substantial role in all futures,” TVA said in the executive summary of its long-term integrated resource plan approved last year.
And in 2018, TVA announced plans to build what would be Alabama’s largest solar farm in Colbert County to power the under-construction Facebook data center in Huntsville.
“We committed to more renewables in the Integrated Resources plan that was approved by the TVA Board in August 2019 and we are excited to explore this potential solar site in Alabama to continue growing our carbon-free energy generation,” TVA said in a statement Thursday.
The site of the potential Lawrence County solar farm is along Alternate Highway 72 (Alabama Highway 20) between Courtland and Hillsboro.
During the two-year purchase option, TVA will conduct investigative activities such as technical, environmental and cultural reviews that will determine if the property is suitable for the large-scale solar project. Following those reviews, TVA will make an assessment on completing the land purchase.
TVA said utility-scale solar could help attract high-paying jobs and investment into the area.
TVA said its energy production is almost 60 percent carbon free.