Tennessee Small Businesses Receive Funding to Pursue Clean Energy and Climate Solutions
U.S. DOE recently announced $53 million in funding that will go to small businesses to pursue advanced scientific instrumentation and technologies that address climate change. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs will support 259 projects focused on security and resilience, renewable energy, energy storage, carbon capture and conversion, and fusion energy.
Included among the recipients are four Tennessee small businesses:
  • Patroness, LLC (Brentwood) – A Facility Scale Automated Mobility System
  • Xtallized Intelligence, Inc. (Nashville) – Fast, Dense, Non-Hygroscopic Scintillators for Particle Detectors
  • Analysis and Measurement Services Corporation (Knoxville) – Development of Cable Insulation Materials for Small Modular Reactors and Advanced Process Instrumentation System for Next-Generation Nuclear Reactors
  • MillenniTEK, LLC (Knoxville) – Cost Reduction Technology for Neutron Absorbers in Microreactor Applications
Click here to access the full list of SBRI and STTR recipients.
TVA Completes 150 MW Solar Project for Facebook/Meta
TVA recently announced that it has reached commercial operations on a 150 MW solar project in Lincoln County, TN developed in partnership with Facebook/Meta to power operations at Meta’s datacenter hub in northwest Huntsville, Alabama. Development of the 150 MW Elora Solar project, which was led by NextEra Energy Resources, began in 2019, while construction efforts to build the center, which contains more than 500,000 solar modules, lasted 17 months, and created approximately 250 construction jobs.

The project provides a significant boost to TVA’s solar capacity. Following this 150 MW addition, TVA has just under 800 MW of solar capacity, and has visons to expand this to 10 GW of solar by 2035.
Knoxville-Based SEEED Receives Funding to Promote Equity and Diversity in Clean Energy Innovation
U.S. DOE recently awarded $3.6 million to 18 groups and organizations through the Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize — a first-of-its-kind competition designed to support entrepreneurship and innovation in communities historically underserved in federal climate and energy technology funding. The selected projects will help to develop the next wave of diverse clean energy business owners, executives, and workforce to create bottom-up solutions for sustainable development.

Included among the recipients is the Knoxville-based nonprofit Socially Equal Energy Efficient Development (SEEED), which will receive funding for its project “SEEEDing Knoxville’s Just Energy Ecosystem,” through which the organization aims to design a community-driven just energy ecosystem, encourage distribution of clean energy benefits to the community, and develop clean energy jobs training for disadvantaged youth. Click here to learn more about the Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize and the recipients.
Rivian, Nashville-Based Clearloop to Partner on Solar Facility in Henry County
Electric automaker Rivian and Nashville-based solar company Clearloop are partnering on a new solar energy production facility. The project, located on 80 acres in Henry County east of Nashville, will help Rivian generate 1 MW of renewable electricity. The facility can generate 6.75 MW in total, or enough to power approximately 1,000 homes annually.

The partnership supports Rivian’s goal to achieve carbon neutrality in its operations within a decade. The company will continue to build charging networks across the nation, with plans to match all kilowatt-hours that Rivian owners drive with renewable energy purchases. Rivian has already provided upfront funding for 1 MW of renewable power capacity, which will cover the electricity used by Rivian Waypoint chargers in Tennessee State Parks and more. Outside this partnership, the Henry County facility will also enable local companies, through local power providers, to access renewable energy. Click here to learn more about this partnership and the planned facility.
ORNL Receives Funding to Accelerate Next-Generation Building Upgrades
U.S. DOE recently announced $32 million to fund over 30 next-generation building retrofit projects that will dramatically improve affordable housing technologies. Seven awardees will test renovation techniques that reduce disruption to tenants while upgrading the energy and environmental performance of buildings more quickly, affordably, and effectively. These techniques can provide the means to decarbonize America’s 130 million buildings at the rate needed to address federal carbon reduction goals.
Among the seven recipients is Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which will receive $5 million to partner with the Knoxville Community Development Corporation to demonstrate 3D-printed modular overclad panels with heat pump systems in 8-12 single-family attached public housing homes and one commercial building in the Knoxville area. The demonstration will help advance technology to save energy and reduce residents’ energy costs—based on projections, families living in the homes may see up to a 75% reduction in water heating, home heating, and home cooling energy use. Click here to read more about the project.
American-Made “Shine On” Awards for Inclusive Solar Outreach
The Shine On Awards for Inclusive Solar Outreach is a competition designed by U.S. DOE to identify and share best practices in communications campaigns reaching diverse and underrepresented audiences. These awards recognize communications and marketing campaigns that demonstrate excellence in strategic, effective, inclusive, and meaningful communication to diverse audiences across digital, video, podcasts, marketing, mobile, print, social media, and more.
U.S. DOE is soliciting the talents of organizations, businesses, and communications professionals engaging diverse audiences to help expand the equitable adoption of solar energy, especially in underrepresented communities, and increase the diversity of the solar workforce by sharing and encouraging the wider adoption of best practices. Campaigns must fit one of the following award categories:
  • Residential solar adoption
  • Community solar subscription
  • Solar co-op subscription
  • Utility-scale solar community engagement
  • Workforce recruitment and/or retention
Applications for the Shine On Awards are due June 10. Click here to register and compete.
Federal Energy Funding 101
The Clean Energy Business Network serves as the small business voice for the clean energy economy. The organization will host an event on June 28 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM Eastern that will serve as a primer on how to navigate federal funding opportunities for clean energy researchers, entrepreneurs, and communities wishing to attract new economic development opportunities. Presenters will discuss several recurring annual or bi-annual federal programs so attendees can determine a predictable schedule of application timelines. Presentations will be followed by a virtual networking reception that will allow attendees to connect with incubators, accelerators, community organizations, and business partners and to learn more about the U.S. energy innovation ecosystem. Click here to register.
2022 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings
The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) will hold its 22nd biennial Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings in Monterey, CA from August 21-26. Energy efficiency and demand flexibility in buildings are critical parts of local, state, federal, and utility decarbonization strategies, enabling higher penetrations of variable renewable energy sources and electrification. As we transition to the new clean energy economy, when and where demand-side resources provide grid services is increasingly important for a reliable, low-cost, decarbonized future. At the same time, rapid changes in policies and programs signal a shift in approaches to bring equity and environmental justice to the forefront of climate solutions. The Summer Study will bring professionals from around the world to discuss the science and policies that equitably advance efficiency in our built environment and reduce climate impacts. Click here to register.
Save the Date: Tennessee Valley Solar Conference + Storage
TenneSEIA will host the 2022 Tennessee Valley Solar Conference + Storage at the Downtown Knoxville Hilton from October 26-27. The focus of the Conference is to bring together people who are interested in growing solar business opportunities in the Tennessee Valley to discuss strategies, market trends, and policies that impact the solar industry. Attendees will participate in in-depth and forward-looking discussions on TVA policy and processes as well as the evolving technical opportunities facing the industry in the Tennessee Valley region. Early Bird registration pricing continues through July 4. Click here to register. See the conference agenda here.
TVA Releases FY 2021 Sustainability Report
TVA released its Fiscal Year 2021 Sustainability Report this month, sharing the agency’s efforts with regard to environmental, social, and governance initiatives that will create a more sustainable future across the Tennessee Valley. The report highlights TVA efforts to assist communities through the clean energy transition, such as boosting Tennessee’s clean energy economy by partnering to bring new jobs to the Valley and investing in small clean energy businesses, promoting an equitable energy transition through education grants and investment in equitable access to services, reducing energy burden for households, and driving energy innovation through carbon emission reduction measures and infrastructure upgrades. Click here to access the full report.
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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