Energy firms and conservation groups are calling on the Tennessee Valley Authority to expand its small-scale solar energy program.
The federal utility launched the program about 10 years ago to boost the solar industry in Tennessee. It allows generators of solar power to connect to the electrical grid and sell back the power they produce at a higher-than-market rate.
The Tennessean reports that energy firms and conservation groups now say the program has begun to stifle the solar industry because TVA caps the amount of power it will buy at a rate that is well below the demand.
TVA says the cap is necessary to keep energy costs down for customers. The utility provides power to about 9 million people in Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.