The Tennessee Valley Authority announced on Jan 14 that it had signed contracts to purchase up to 815 megawatts of wind generation. Two of the contracts with Invenergy Wind affiliates are for a total of 350 megawatts from wind farm projects at the White Oak Energy Center in McLean County, Ill., and the Bishop Hill Energy Center in Henry County, Ill., both beginning in January 2012.
A third contract with CPV Renewable Energy Co. will provide up to 165 megawatts of wind energy from the Cimarron project in Gray County, Kan., beginning as early as January 2012.
Finally, A fourth contract, with Iberdrola Renewables Inc., will deliver up to 300 megawatts from the Streator Cayuga Ridge project in Illinois, starting in mid-2010.
You can read the entire press release here: http://www.tva.gov/news/releases/janmar10/contracts_wind.htm
A little more about the Tennessee Valley Authority.
The TVA was established in 1933 during Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. It was created by the Tennessee Valley Authority Act of 1933. (http://www.tva.com/abouttva/pdf/TVA_Act.pdf ). It's mission, as described in the act is:
To improve the navigability and to provide for the flood control of the Tennessee River; to provide for reforestation and the proper use of marginal lands in the Tennessee Valley; to provide for the agricultural and industrial development of said valley; to provide for the national defense by the creation of a corporation for the operation of Government properties at and near Muscle Shoals in the State of Alabama, and for other purposes.
You can read more about their history here: http://www.tva.com/abouttva/history.htm
According to the TVA 2009 annual report, the TVA has 27,000 megawatts of baseload generation capacity, and 7,000 megawatts of peaking and backup capacity. Ignoring the peaking plants (all gas turbines), 51% percent of their capacity comes from coal (14,000 megawatts).
The rest (49%) already come from "non-carbon emitting sources". Nuclear accounts for 25% (7,000 megawatts), and hydroelectric for 22% (6,000 megawatts). 2% is from "other" and includes wind, solar, methane, etc.
You can read their 2009 Annual report at: http://investor.shareholder.com/tva/sec.cfm
(Select "10-K annual report Nov 25,2009" The above info is on pages 12-14, but the entire report is good reading, and a good look inside a major power producer.)
While on the subject of the TVA, there is a mis-conception is that TVA is "subsidized". Indeed, many people, when they hear "government company" make the assumption "MY TAX DOLLARS!". But, like the Post Office and others, that is not always true. The TVA act requires that their rates cover all costs of operations. They sell debt securities to finance projects. Note also, they are a wholesaler, who sells power to distributors, who then sell it to customers.
Nowhere in their annual report cited above, are there any government subsidies. The below is from that report:
" Initially, all TVA operations were funded by federal appropriations. Direct appropriations for the TVA power program ended in 1959, and appropriations for TVA’s stewardship, economic development, and multipurpose activities ended in 1999. Since 1999, TVA has funded all of its operations almost entirely from the sale of electricity and power system financings. TVA’s power system financings consist primarily of the sale of debt securities. TVA is owned by the United States and is not authorized to issue equity securities."
They are exempt from Federal Taxation. They do have to pay "tax equivalents" to county and state.