U.S. DOE Encourages Southeast Hydrogen Hub for Full Proposal
The Southeast Hydrogen Hub coalition announced that it is among the limited number of applicants encouraged by the U.S. DOE to submit a full application to the $8 billion in funding for regional clean hydrogen hubs under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The coalition, which includes major utility companies Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Louisville Gas and Electric Company, Kentucky Utilities Company, Southern Company, the Tennessee Valley Authority, as well as Battelle, is working to organize the potential hub and secure funding. A hydrogen hub in the Southeastern U.S. is expected to bring robust economic development benefits and jobs to the region. Formal proposals are due to the DOE in April, with award decisions expected in the fall. 
Nominations Open for 2022 Governor's Environmental Stewardship Awards
TDEC is inviting Tennesseans to submit nominations for the 2023 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 2023 awards, which include the following categories: Agriculture and Forestry, Building Green, Clean Air, Energy and Renewable Resources, Environmental Education and Outreach, Materials Management, Natural Resources, Water Quality, Sustainable Performance, and Lifetime Achievement.
Any individual, business, organization, educational institution, or agency is eligible for nomination, provided the entity is located in Tennessee and their associated environmental project was completed during the 2022 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 March 17, and winners will be announced during the summer. Contact Kathy Glapa at (615) 253-8780 or with any questions.
Technical Assistance Available for Communities to Adopt Innovative Appraoches to Solar
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is offering technical assistance to communities, institutions, and organizations based on findings from the Solar Energy Innovation Network (SEIN). The Assistance for Early Adopters Program aims to create resilience hubs, solar-powered microgrids, siting recommendations to enhance disaster preparedness, and parameters to reduce solar interconnection costs.

To request assistance through the Innovation Network, complete a request form for a specific topic area and submit the form to If the request meets the parameters of assistance outlined, SEIN staff will schedule an initial scoping call with the primary contact person on the request form.
Silicon Ranch Raises $600 Million to Sustain Nationwide Expansion of Solar Power Operations
Nashville-based solar power company Silicon Ranch ended 2022 with $600 million in funds raised to expand its operations, which follows the company's $225 million raise in 2020 and $775 million raise in 2021, each of which ranked as the largest raises in Greater Nashville in those years according to Business Journal research.

The latest episode of the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council’s Energizing Tennessee podcast discusses the impact of solar developments in Tennessee. Matt Kisber, Chairman of the Board at Silicon Ranch, talks about how the solar development company grew into a billion-dollar powerhouse, its upcoming solar projects, and how solar can transform rural communities.
Knoxville-based Team Selected as a Phase-One Winner of the Hydrogen Shot Incubator Prize
In October, U.S. DOE announced nine phase-one winners of the Hydrogen Shot Incubator Prize competition, including Abhijeet Borole's Knoxville-based team for its Electro-Active Hydrogen project titled "Solar BioElectric Hydrogen." The team designed a system that integrates solar energy with algal hydrothermal liquefaction and microbial electrolysis to generate clean hydrogen, leveraging the chemical energy from organic matter.
The $2.6 million prize competition fosters innovative concepts to produce clean, affordable hydrogen and supports the Hydrogen Program’s efforts to identify, develop, and test technologies that reduce the cost of clean hydrogen production. In this phase, the winning teams received $60,000 for their early-stage concepts for novel hydrogen production technologies—$10,000 in cash and $50,000 in vouchers to spend at national laboratories to further develop their concepts. Winners of the next phase will receive $300,000 in national laboratory vouchers and $100,000 in cash to support their demonstration efforts in preparation for a “Pitch Day” with potential investors and commercial partners.
Request for Information: $9 Billion for Home Energy Rebates

U.S. DOE’s Office of State and Community Energy Programs (SCEP) issued a Request for Information (RFI) for the $9 billion Home Energy Rebate Programs, a new set of programs funded through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that will provide funding to states, territories, and Tribes to develop, implement, and enhance residential energy efficiency and electrification projects in U.S. households. The deadline to respond to the RFI is March 3 at 7:00 PM Central. 
U.S. DOE Announces Funding for Energy Manager Training to Lower Energy Costs for K-12 Schools

The Energy Champions Leading the Advancement of Sustainable Schools Prize (Energy CLASS Prize) supports local education agencies by helping to establish and train energy managers to identify, plan, and implement efficiency and health upgrades in schools. The program is accepting applications for up to 25 local education agencies to receive $100,000 in cash prizes to support training over a 12-month period. Applications are due February 28 at 4:00 PM Central. 
U.S. DOE Launches EAS-E Prize to Accelerate Equitable, Affordable, and Simple Solutions for Home Electrification

The American-Made Equitable and Affordable Solutions to Electrification Prize (EAS-E Prize) is offering $2.4 million in cash prizes and technical assistance vouchers to innovators who can help simplify the electrification processes for contractors and implementers. The prize aims to make the process faster and more afforable for homeowners across diverse communities and all housing types.

The two-phase EAS-E Prize was developed by U.S. DOE's Building Technologies Office (BTO) to further the development and deployment of "easy electrification" approaches. Home electrification is a decarbonization strategy that replaces fuel-burning home appliances with electric products such as heat pump technologies, solar photovoltaics, electric vehicle charging, and energy storage technologies. Electrification is one of several strategies BTO is pursuing to reduce the carbon footprint of the U.S. building stock while maintaining or improving affordability, comfort, and performance.

Follow the EAS-E Prize on for all prize-related updates. Phase 1 submissions are due by March 8.
U.S. DOE Creates Community Power Accelerator and $10 Million Prize Competition for Community Solar Development

U.S. DOE has created a new Community Power Accelerator to connect developers, investors, and community-based organizations interested in getting more equity-focused community solar projects financed and deployed. Additionally, an accompanying prize through American-Made Challenges will provide $10 million to accelerate community solar deployment. Solar developers and other groups are eligible to apply by March 15 for $50,000 each in Phase 1. Click here to begin the application process. 
U.S. DOE Launches $50 Million Program to Help Communities Meet Their Clean Energy Goals

U.S. DOE recently launched a new $50 million program to help communities across the country transition to clean energy systems that are reliable, affordable, equitable, and reflective of local priorities. The Clean Energy to Communities Program (C2C) will connect local governments, electric utilities, community-based groups, and others with the innovative modeling and testing tools developed at DOE’s world-class national laboratories to transform their clean energy goals and ambitions into reality. By helping communities reach their clean energy targets, this new program reflects a continued commitment to ensuring that every community unlocks the public health and cost-saving benefits of a clean energy future and supports federal goals to decarbonize the electric grid by 2035 and achieve a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.

C2C provides integrated technical support to communities across the renewable power, grid, mobility, and buildings sectors. The program seeks to provide the type and amount of support communities require to meet their unique interests and needs in transitioning to a clean energy economy. For C2C’s in-depth partnerships, this includes funding to support program participation.

C2C offers three levels of technical assistance (click the link at the beginning of each bullet to view further details, including eligibility requirements and FAQs):
  • In-depth technical partnerships: Multi-year partnerships that provide cross-sector modeling, analysis, and validation, paired with direct funding to help four to five selected teams of local governments, electric utilities, and community-based organizations achieve their goals and/or overcome specific challenges. Click here to access the pre-solicitation for in-depth technical partnerships. The full application is expected to open mid-February.
  • Peer-learning cohorts: Small groups of local governments, electric utilities, or community-based organizations that meet regularly for approximately six months to learn from each other and from lab experts in a collaborative environment to develop program proposals, action plans, strategies, and/or best practices on a pre-determined clean energy topic. Cohorts will include approximately 100 communities in total. Cohort topics and applications are to be released every six months, in March and September, with applications due May 1 and November 1.
  • Expert match: Short-term assistance (40-60 hours) with one or more technical experts to help address near-term clean energy questions or challenges for up to 200 communities. Click here to complete an expert match application, which will be accepted on a rolling basis.
To receive e-mail updates about the C2C program, including the opening of application periods, complete and submit the sign-up form. Please direct any questions about the program to
U.S. DOE Announces $22 Million for Building Electrification Upgrades and Application Support Prizes

U.S. DOE recently announced the Buildings Upgrade Prize (Buildings UP), which will offer up to $22 million in cash prizes and technical assistance to teams with winning ideas to accelerate widespread, equitable energy efficiency and building electrification upgrades. Up to 50 application support prizes ($5,000 and 10 hours of technical support) are available to help new and under-resourced teams complete their applications and will be awarded on a rolling basis until funds are expended. Click here to register for an information webinar on Buildings UP on February 2at 11:00 AM Central. Applications are due July 18
Federal Clean Energy Tax Credits for Consumers

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) restored the federal tax credit to 30% of a homeowner’s solar energy system’s value for installations that occur between 2022 and 2032. There is no maximum amount that can be claimed. Click here to confirm eligibility and claim the credit. 

Learn more about all clean energy tax credits available to homeowners – and in some cases, renters – for the 2022 through 2032 tax years.
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.
TAEBC Annual Meeting
The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) Annual Meeting allows TAEBC members, stakeholders, and potential members to gather from across the state to celebrate Tennessee’s growing advanced energy economy. The event will cover 2022 accomplishments, the future of the electric vehicle supply chain, TAEBC member highlights, partnership updates, and more. The Annual Meeting is scheduled for March 7 from 1:00 – 4:00 PM Central in Franklin, TN. 
Click here to register for the Annual Meeting. This event is free for TAEBC members and public officials. It is $50 for non-members. Email or to receive your free event code.

Save the Date: 2023 Tennessee Valley Solar + Storage Conference

The TenneSEIA Solar Association has announced the 2023 Tennessee Valley Solar+ Storage Conference will be held on October 18 – 19 in downtown Chattanooga. TenneSEIA’s mission is to promote the development of solar energy and complementary technologies, including storage, positioning the Tennessee Valley’s residents and businesses as leaders in clean energy deployment and economic development. Direct all questions and ideas for the event to TenneSEIA Executive Director Gil Hough at

U.S. DOE Publishes County-Level Energy Jobs Data

U.S. DOE released county-by-county energy jobs data for the first time in December. The data, sourced from the 2022 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER), provide the number of energy jobs in each county, categorized by energy technology and five key energy sectors, including Electric Power Generation; Transmission, Distribution, and Storage; Fuels; Energy Efficiency; and Motor Vehicles. Of these categories, jobs in the energy efficiency and motor vehicle sectors were the most widespread across the country, while jobs in solar and wind varied more by geography. The new data can serve as a tool to help state and local leaders target policies, programs, and investments—such as those made available through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) – in order to meet specific community needs. For example, the data can help identify which counties may need additional support to ensure a just clean energy transition. To learn more about the USEER county-level data collection methodology and to access the data, visit the FAQ page.
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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