In an effort to increase the amount of renewable energy in its
generation portfolio, TVA released a Request for Proposal for renewable
energy resources in 2017. TVA then entered into a power purchase
agreement (PPA) with Bellefonte Solar, LLC on November 9, 2018.
Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and the Act’s implementing regulations promulgated by the Council on Environmental Quality ([CEQ]; 40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] 1500-1508), federal agencies are required to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of their proposed actions. This environmental assessment (EA) was prepared to assess the potential impacts of TVA’s Proposed Action (the purchase of power under the PPA) on the environment in accordance with CEQ’s and TVA’s procedures for implementing NEPA (TVA 1983).
TVA’s Proposed Action would result in the construction and operation of the proposed solar facility by Bellefonte Solar and actions taken by TVA to connect the solar facility to the TVA transmission system. The scope of this EA therefore focuses on impacts related to the construction and operation of the proposed solar facility and associated modifications to the TVA transmission system.
This EA (1) describes the existing environment at the Project Site, (2) analyzes potential environmental impacts associated with the Proposed Action and the No Action Alternative, and (3) identifies and characterizes potential cumulative impacts from the proposed Project in relation to other ongoing and reasonably foreseeable proposed activities within the surrounding area of the Project Site.
Under the PPA, TVA’s obligation to purchase renewable power is contingent upon the satisfactory completion of the appropriate environmental review and TVA’s determination that the Proposed Action will be “environmentally acceptable.” To be deemed acceptable, TVA must assess the impact of the Project on the human environment to determine whether (1) any significant impacts would result from the location, operation, and/or maintenance of the proposed Project and/or associated facilities, and (2) the Project would be consistent with the purposes, provisions, and requirements of applicable federal, state, and local environmental laws and regulations.
On April 30, 2020, TVA completed an environmental assessment (EA) and finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for a proposed solar facility in Jackson County, Alabama. The Bellefonte Solar Energy Center Project will provide up to 150 MW AC generating capacity in accordance with the terms of the PPA.
More information on this environmental review can be obtained from: