TRISO-X Breaks Ground on Advanced Nuclear Fuel Facility in Oak Ridge
Governor Bill Lee and other State leaders recently gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of a significant advancement in nuclear fuel technology. TRISO-X, owned by X-energy, will soon start building North America's first commercial-scale, advanced nuclear fuel facility in Oak Ridge. This large facility will produce fuel to be used by reactors to generate electricity across the country.
Spark Incubator Program Selects Eight Companies for Cohort Two
The Spark Incubator Program, a strategic initiative within the Spark Innovation Center at the University of Tennessee (UT) Research Park at Cherokee Farm, has selected eight early-stage tech companies to participate in its 2022-2023 program.

During the two-year program, the Spark Innovation Center provides companies access to top-quality lab space, business model development and introductions to early-stage investors, connections with top researchers at UT, introductions to other entrepreneurial service providers in the region, mentoring through the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council's (TAEBC) mentor network, and connections with established companies in the Research Park and throughout the region.

The 2022-2023 selected companies include:
  • Addiguru, LLC, which provides in-situ monitoring technology for the Additive Manufacturing (AM) processes;
  • American Nanotechnologies Inc., which leverages low-cost, high-purity semiconducting carbon nanotubes to make state-of-the-art chemical sensors;
  • BECQ/Neutroelectric, which has developed a high-temperature, lightweight neutron-shielding technology that will help reduce costs and increase safety in the nuclear industry;
  • FC Renew, LLC, which has developed a novel low-cost process to restore degraded hydrogen fuel cells; 
  • Holocene Climate Corporation, which is harnessing organic chemistry to remove CO2 from the atmosphere;
  • Orion Therapeutics Inc., which ensures the clinical success of early-stage RNA therapy and vaccine development programs;
  • Qubit Engineering Inc., a quantum computing company that has developed new optimization methods for wind turbine micro-siting; and
  • RAEV, which is developing an urban transportation system of small, shareable electric vehicles.
LaunchTN awards $7 Million in Matching Funds to 37 TN Businesses

LaunchTN announced that 37 Tennessee businesses received Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Matching Funds this year. The SBIR/STTR Matching Fund is a strategic initiative to advance the commercialization of technology innovation and job creation across the state. The grant has been a significant catalyst for the growth of many Tennessee early-stage, high-tech, high-wage companies. Now in its sixth year, the program has created over 650 jobs, with companies receiving funds generating more than $100M in annual revenue.
TVA and EPB are Among the 19 Organizations Selected by the U.S. DOE to Receive Clean Energy Innovator Fellows
U.S. DOE announced that 19 institutions, including TVA and EPB of Chattanooga, will host fellows as part of the new $6 million Clean Energy Innovator Fellowship program. The program matches recent graduates and energy professionals to host institutions at critical energy organizations.
The fellows will work at selected public utility commissions, municipal and rural cooperative utilities, and grid operators to advance innovative clean energy solutions. The program seeks to increase access to clean energy career opportunities across the country and accelerate the national transition to a resilient and affordable clean energy economy. The institutions will receive fellows who will spend one to two years working on projects that will help decarbonize the U.S. power system, electrify transportation and industry, and make the power system more equitable and inclusive.

U.S. DOE Announces Winners of the First Phase of the Hydrogen Shot Incubator Prize

U.S. DOE announced the phase one winners of the Hydrogen Shot Incubator Prize, a $2.6 million competition to foster innovative concepts for producing clean hydrogen. With these awards, nine winning teams will each receive $60,000 for their early-stage concepts for novel hydrogen production technologies. The winners include Electro-Active Hydrogen in Knoxville, which proposed a system that integrates solar energy with algal hydrothermal liquefaction and microbial electrolysis to generate clean hydrogen, leveraging chemical energy from organic matter.
GAIN Vouchers Awarded to Support Advanced Reactor Siting Activities and New Spent Fuel Recycling Process

The Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative awarded vouchers to three businesses to help support siting activities of advanced nuclear reactors and develop a new recycling process for the nation's spent nuclear fuel. All three companies will gain access to the research capabilities and expertise of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) at no cost to the recipients to help advance their projects.
TVA will work with ORNL experts to leverage the lab's Oak Ridge Siting Analysis for power Generation Expansion (OR-SAGE) tool and identify potential advanced reactor development sites in specific regions in the U.S. and in the Tennessee Valley Authority service area. 
Federal Requests for Information
Solar Photovoltaic Panels and Components
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) issued a Request for Information (RFI) to learn more about the availability of domestically manufactured solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and components. GSA seeks feedback from the industry to inform a comprehensive policy that supports decarbonizing the U.S. electric grid and securing a domestic clean energy supply chain. Submit your responses by November 18 at 5:00 PM ET.
New Program to Improve Energy Systems in Areas with Fewer than 10,000 People
U.S. DOE issued a Request for Information seeking public input on a new $1 billion program to improve energy generation in rural or remote communities across the country. The Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas (ERA) program, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will strengthen the resilience, reliability, and availability of energy systems, helping communities unlock the public health and cost-saving benefits cleaner, more efficient energy provides. 
The ERA program will provide federal support to rural or remote communities to:
  • Improve the overall cost-effectiveness of energy generation, transmission, or distribution systems
  • Site or upgrade transmission and distribution lines
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from energy generation by rural or remote areas
  • Provide or modernize electric generation facilities
  • Develop microgrids
  • Increase energy efficiency
U.S. DOE will host multiple in person and virtual workshops for communities and interested stakeholders to learn more, ask questions and discuss the types of projects that can improve their energy systems as they prepare to respond to the RFI. Participation in the RFI will not affect participation in any funding opportunities or other opportunities resulting from this program. Feedback to this RFI can be submitted to until November 28 at 12:00 PM ET. Find out more here.

Help Rural, Municipal, and Small Investor-owned Electric Utilities Enhance their Cybersecurity
U.S. DOE issued a Request for Information seeking public input on a new $250 million program to strengthen the cybersecurity posture of rural, municipal, and small investor-owned electric utilities. The Rural and Municipal Utility Advances Cybersecurity Grant and Technical Assistance Program, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, is designed to provide grants and technical assistance to and enter into cooperative agreements with eligible entities to protect against, detect, respond to, and recover from cybersecurity threats.
Responses to the RFI must be submitted via email to by 5:00 PM ET, December 19Download the RFI to see the complete list of questions, topics of interest, and submission guidelines.  
Better Buildings Webinar Series
The Better Buildings Webinar Series addresses topics facing energy professionals, with experts leading the conversations on proven best practices, cost-effective strategies, and innovative ways to approach sustainability and energy performance. View all upcoming webinars here, or click on any webinar below to register.

U.S. DOE Announces Historic $7 Billion Funding Opportunity to Jump-Start America's Clean Hydrogen Economy
U.S. DOE is accepting applications for a $7 billion funding program, backed by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to create up to ten regional clean hydrogen hubs across the country, which will form a critical part of America's future clean energy economy. Concept papers are due by November 7. The U.S. DOE also recently released a draft of the "National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap." 

Opportunities in Energy Event

To showcase some of this year’s innovations and developments, the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council is hosting the annual Opportunities in Energy event at The Square Room in downtown Knoxville on November 16, from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. ET. 
The event will include several panels on topics ranging from battery partnerships to corporate sustainability. During the event, the 2022 winner of the Thomas B. Ballard Advanced Energy Leadership Award, which honors exemplary leadership and success in championing, connecting, and strengthening Tennessee’s advanced energy economy, will be announced. Applications for the award open on September 30.
Additional information and tickets are available here.
Tennessee Renewable Energy and Economic Development Council’s 2022 Renewable Energy Summit
Tennessee Renewable Energy Economic Council (TREEC) and Tennessee Tech University are hosting the 2022 Renewable Energy Summit in Cookeville on December 1. The conference will feature mayoral panels on best practices for energy efficiency and innovation in renewable energy. Attendees will hear from State and federal government leaders about the future of renewable energy. The event begins at 2:00 PM CT and includes an evening reception award ceremony, ending at 7:00 PM CT. Register now.
Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize
The Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize will support new and existing coalitions addressing a local clean energy opportunity or environmental inequity in disadvantaged communities. Ten coalitions will receive a $30,000 cash prize and the chance to compete for an additional $165,000 each.
The prize seeks to carry out the directives of the Justice40 Initiative by identifying and supporting the following: 
  • Newly partnered or existing community-based coalitions that have recently committed to helping underrepresented communities address energy challenges and implement clean energy solutions.
  • Further development of relevant in-community coalitions executing projects that are consistent with the Justice40 Initiative and U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's focus on clean energy technologies and implementation.
  • Long-term engagement by the relevant in-community coalitions on energy challenges on behalf of the communities served.
This prize has an easy application process, due December 7, in which applicants will define their coalitions and the opportunity or inequity they intend to address. 
Federal Solar Tax Credit Resources
The U.S. DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) has released several new resources on the federal solar tax credits as well as answers to questions about the Inflation Reduction Act's (IRA’s) impact on solar energy.
Homeowner's Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics
Learn how the IRA can help homeowners save on solar energy in the updated homeowner's guide to the federal solar tax credit. The Act provides a 30% tax credit on residential solar systems installed this year and through 2032.
Federal Solar Tax Credits for Businesses
Businesses can learn about the federal solar investment tax credit and production tax credit on SETO's new resource webpage for businesses, which deciphers bonus credits and labor requirements in the IRA, includes information on project eligibility, and more.
Federal Solar Tax Credits for Manufacturers
U.S. solar manufacturers can get up-to-date information about the investment tax credit and manufacturing production tax credit on SETO's new resource webpage for solar manufacturers, which includes info on component eligibility, phase-out timelines, and more.

Get Answers to the Future of Solar Deployment and Manufacturing
SETO recently hosted a webinar, "Reaching for the Solar Future: How the Inflation Reduction Act Impacts Solar Deployment and Expands Manufacturing," which highlights the impact of the IRA on the future of solar deployment and manufacturing. Participants had many questions, and SETO experts assembled answers, which are available in the webinar's Q&A section.
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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