Nominations Open for 2021 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards
TDEC is inviting Tennesseans to submit nominations for the 2021 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards, which honor outstanding accomplishments that support the protection and enhancement of Tennessee’s natural resources. Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2021 awards, which include the following categories: Building Green; Clean Air; Energy and Renewable Resources; Environmental Education and Outreach (for both school and non-school projects); Land Use; Materials Management; Natural Heritage; Sustainable Performance; Agriculture and Forestry; Natural Resources; Water Quality; and Lifetime Achievement.
Any individual, business, organization, educational institution, or agency is eligible for nomination, provided it is located in Tennessee and the project was completed during the 2020 calendar year. A panel of judges will select award recipients based on criteria including level of project or program completion, innovation, and public education. The deadline for nominations is April 1, and winners will be announced in May. Contact Kathy Glapa at (615) 253-8780 or with any questions.
U.S. DOE Selects TDEC to Establish “Proving Ground” for Advanced Building Technologies
U.S. DOE has awarded $6 million in funding through the Building Technologies Proving Ground – Public Sector Field Validation Funding Opportunity to TDEC and six other governmental entities in California, Kansas, Rhode Island, Texas, and Wisconsin. TDEC and the six other awardees will receive funding to install and test building technologies and systems in commercial and multi-family facilities that improve energy efficiency, demand flexibility, and building-to-grid capabilities. In particular, TDEC will partner with Stone Mountain, the National Association of State Energy Officials, and the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council to validate a gas absorption hot water heat pump for a commercial setting. To view the full list of awarded projects, click here.
ORNL, UTK, Vanderbilt to Bolster Domestic Manufacturing Through Innovation
U.S. DOE selected ORNL and UTK to receive funding for projects that stimulate technology innovation, improve the energy productivity of American manufacturing, and enable the creation of cutting-edge products in the U.S. Additionally, Vanderbilt University will work as a partner on a project led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
ORNL will receive a total of $7,026,254 and UTK will receive $1,551,195 as the lead organizations for three funded projects that will improve efficiency in advanced manufacturing processes in energy-intensive and energy-dependent industries, including steel manufacturing, drying, machine learning, additive manufacturing, and ceramic matrix composites production. Vanderbilt will work with NREL on a project under this same topic area with $2,000,000 in funding. Click here to read more about this funding opportunity. Click here to view all selected projects.
U.S. DOE Announces Funding for Bioenergy Feedstock Technologies
U.S. DOE announced up to $35 million in funding for bioenergy feedstock technologies and algae research and development, supporting the department’s goals of improving the performance and lowering the cost and risk of technologies that can be used to produce biofuels, biopower, and bioproducts. Topic Areas under this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) include:
  • Characterization of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to Enable Production of Conversion-Ready Feedstocks: Projects will work on understanding MSW variability and informing the steps necessary to produce conversion-ready feedstock.
  • Algae Productivity Exceeding Expectations (APEX): Projects will 1) improve seasonal productivity of algae via a diverse portfolio of strains, and 2) develop tools to accelerate current and future strain and cultivation improvements.
Concept papers under this FOA are due February 1. Full applications are due April 5. Click here to view the full FOA.
U.S. DOE Announces Funding for “Connected Communities” of Buildings Powered to Transform the Electric System
U.S. DOE announced up to $65 million through its Connected Communities FOA to expand the country’s network of grid-interactive efficient building (GEB) communities. A Connected Community is a group of GEBs with diverse, flexible end use equipment and distributed energy resources (DER) that collectively work to maximize building, community, and grid efficiency. Under this FOA, U.S. DOE will fund a portfolio of Connected Community projects with varying climates and geographies, GEB types, and DER capabilities. Through these projects, U.S. DOE hopes to find and share technical and market solutions that will increase demand flexibility and energy efficiency.
U.S. DOE anticipates awarding 6-8 projects between $3-7 million each, for periods of 36-60 months. Concept papers are due February 17; the deadline for full applications is March 3. Click here to view the full FOA.
2020-2021 Better Buildings Webinar Series
U.S. DOE Better Buildings continues to hold events under its 2020-2021 Webinar Series, which will run through April. This series aims to address some of the most pressing topics facing building energy professionals, with experts leading conversations on proven best practices, cost effectiveness strategies, and innovative ways to approach sustainability and energy performance.
The next webinar in the series, titled “Climate Risk Assessments: Commercial Buildings & Portfolio Resilience”, will take place on February 2 from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM Eastern and will explore strategies that commercial building owners can use to address climate-related threats. Speakers will also help building owners identify cost-effective strategies and improvements to protect occupants and assets from short and long-term risks.
The following webinar, titled “Perspectives on Resilience: Insurance and Credit Underwriting”, will take place on February 9 from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM Eastern. This webinar will examine how resilience risk fiscally impacts organizations through insurance, credit underwriting, and credit ratings. Attendees will hear insights from industry practitioners on interpreting risk and what building owners can do to improve performance.
Click here for the full webinar schedule.
Tennessee Valley Solar Conference + Storage Follow Up Webinar: New Options Under Flexibility
The organizers of the Tennessee Valley Solar Conference + Storage forum will hold a webinar on February 3 from 9:00 AM to 10:40 AM Central titled, “New Options & Models Under Flexibility.” The webinar will address local power company (LPC) flexibility under new long-term partnership agreements with TVA. These new agreements allow LPCs to tap into self-generation and energy procurement, making way for community adoption of unique business models and partnerships for the deployment of locally sourced power. Attendees will hear from TVA and LPC representatives from across the Tennessee Valley about these opportunities and how they are taking shape in new renewable energy investments. Click here to register.
Save the Date: Building Science Conference and Expo 2021
TVA EnergyRight will host the 2021 Building Science Conference and Expo from August 17-18 at the Knoxville Convention Center and Knoxville Hilton Hotel. The conference will provide continuing education training and certification opportunities in addition to sessions on commercial building science, workforce development initiatives, serving hard-to-reach customers, and multifamily housing energy efficiency programs. The event promotes energy efficient home performance through education and the promotion of building science principles. Members of the Home Builders Association of Greater Knoxville (HBAGK) may receive a conference registration discount. Visit to learn more.
An Assessment of the Energy Sector in Tennessee
The Tennessee State Energy Policy Council, in partnership with UT-K’s Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, has released a report titled, “An Assessment of the Energy Sector in Tennessee.” The report provides a detailed, data-driven analysis of the state’s energy sector and includes an examination of energy consumption (by energy source and end-use sector), electricity generation, available resource base, job benefits from the state’s energy sector, environmental and health issues, and a comparison of Tennessee to other states in the Southeast.
Innovations in Building Energy Modeling: Research and Development Opportunities Report for Emerging Technologies
Building energy modeling (BEM) is a multipurpose tool for building energy efficiency (EE). U.S. DOE seeks to expand the use and effectiveness of BEM in the design and operation of commercial and residential buildings with the goal of achieving lasting reductions in total and peak energy use. A new report identifies gaps and outlines recommended initiatives to achieve this goal, based on a combination of technical analysis and stakeholder input. This report can benefit BEM professionals (architects, mechanical engineers, energy consultants, building auditors, equipment manufacturers, and BEM software vendors) and BEM clients (building owners and operators, EE program administrators, EE service providers, policymakers, and policy and code jurisdictions such as cities and states).
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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