Knoxville Installs Over 28K LED Streetlights
The City of Knoxville has installed more than 28,000 LED streetlights throughout its jurisdiction, becoming the first city of its size in the Southeast to make the switch to 100% LED street lighting. These improvements will save the City up to $2 million in energy and maintenance costs annually and will help the City meet its goal to reduce government carbon emissions 50% by 2030. The LED project began with an extensive design phase in 2017 and included test/demo installations of new lights for evaluation by the City and public stakeholders. Installation of new LEDs began in August 2018. For more information on the project, click here.
EPB Earns LEED Gold Certification at Chattanooga Headquarters
The Electric Power Board of Chattanooga (EPB) has achieved LEED Gold Certification for its downtown Chattanooga headquarters, becoming the first Gold Certified existing building in Chattanooga and Tennessee’s only utility to be certified using the U.S. Green Building Council’s Arc real-time performance platform. As a result of the changes made to achieve this certification, EPB has reduced its headquarters’ annual water consumption by 1.4 million gallons, electricity consumption by 82,000 kWh, and landfill waste by 63%.
Tennessee National Guard Solar Canopy Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, November 6, 2019. Photo courtesy of TDEC Office of Policy and Sustainable Practices.
New Solar Goes Online in Tennessee
Earlier this month, the Tennessee National Guard launched a 106.6 kW onsite solar photovoltaic system to decrease their organization’s energy footprint. The system, which has the potential to reduce the headquarters’ electricity consumption from the grid by up to 20%, was funded in part by a Clean Tennessee Energy Grant from TDEC. Click here to learn more about the project.
Additionally, Jackson Energy Authority recently collaborated with TVA to unveil a 2 MW solar farm in Jackson. The solar farm, which will be owned and operated by Nashville-based solar power producer Silicon Ranch, will feed into the electrical grid and help local industrial customers like Toyota Boshoku leverage renewable power in their manufacturing facilities. Click here to learn more.
TDEC OEP Promotes K-12 Energy Education in Tennessee
OEP provides K-12 educators with the knowledge and resources necessary to teach energy concepts. Throughout the year, OEP staff travel across the state to host professional development and student learning events that link the broad topic of energy to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects and fields. Learn more about OEP’s K-12 energy education programming at
In November, OEP provided K-12 energy education for the following:
  • Merrol Hyde Magnet School STEM night
  • Tennessee Science Teachers Association / Tennessee Math Teachers Association Conference
  • Mount Juliet Elementary School
Through these events, OEP reached more than 1,000 students, educators, and parents with lessons on energy-related topics, including solar power, chemical reactions, electric circuitry, and more. To learn more about other K-12 energy education events and opportunities, click here.
U.S. DOE Awards Funding for Solar Technologies, High Performance Computing in Tennessee
U.S. DOE recently announced $128 million for new projects to advance solar technologies, including projects proposed by the Electric Power Research Institute in Knoxville and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). These projects, which will focus on behind the meter systems, distributed energy resources, utility-scale photovoltaic generators, and concentrating solar-thermal power plants, will seek to improve the affordability, reliability, and performance of solar technologies on the national grid.
U.S. DOE also recently announced $3.6 million to support High Performance Computing projects that will address key challenges in U.S. manufacturing, material, and mobility development. Under this funding opportunity, Knoxville-based LM Industries Group, Inc. will partner with ORNL to find ways to reduce energy costs and waste within large-scale additive manufacturing processes. 
Applications Open for Collegiate Wind Competition 2021
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently released a request for proposals for students interested in competing in U.S. DOE’s Collegiate Wind Competition, which will take place in the Spring of 2021. Students will be challenged to 1) design, build, and test a model wind turbine, and 2) design a hypothetical utility wind farm that maximizes energy production and balances environmental and community impacts. Applications are due by December 9. Click here to learn more about the opportunity.
U.S. DOE Announces $4M for High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation
The High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) Program seeks qualified industry partners to participate in short-term, collaborative projects using high performance computing facilities at U.S. DOE’s national laboratories. The program aims to assist in the development of energy and transportation technologies and strategies that improve energy efficiency, increase productivity, enable next-generation technologies, investigate intensified processes, lower energy costs, and accelerate innovation. Eligibility for this program is limited to either entities that manufacture or develop products in the U.S. for commercial applications or the organizations that support them. Selected demonstration projects will be awarded up to $300,000 to support compute cycles and work performed by the national lab partners. The industry partner must provide a participant contribution of at least 20%. Details on specific focus areas and other program information can be found on the HPC4EI solicitation webpage. Concept papers must be submitted by December 10.
2020 Environmental Education Grants Program
U.S. EPA has announced $3 million in federal grant money for local environmental education projects as part of the 2020 Environmental Education Grants Program. Funded projects will increase public awareness on various environmental matters and will enhance participants’ abilities to make informed decisions on environmental issues. Example projects include workshops, field trips, interactive programs, conferences, etc. Eligible applicants include local education agencies, state education or environmental agencies, colleges or universities, nonprofit organizations, noncommercial educational broadcasting entities, and tribal education agencies. Applications for this Program are due by 11:59 PM ET on January 6, 2020. More information and the official notice are also available on the U.S. EPA website.
USDA REAP to Fund Energy Audits and Renewable Energy Development
The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) recently opened its “Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance” grants (EA & REDA), to support rural small businesses and agricultural producers in the evaluation, implementation, and utilization of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies. EA & REDA funds can support energy audits, renewable energy technical assistance, and renewable energy site assessments. Eligible projects costs may include salaries related to an EA or REDA project; travel expenses directly related to conducting EA or REDA projects; office supplies; and administrative expenses, which include, but are not limited to, utilities, office space, and operation expenses of office and other project-related equipment. Applicants must submit separate applications, limited to one EA project and one REDA project per fiscal year. The maximum aggregate amount of EA & REDA grants in a Federal fiscal year is $100,000.
Applications for EA & REDA funds are due to REAP by January 31, 2020. Click here to learn more and to apply for REAP financial assistance. Click here to find the REAP point of contact for your Tennessee region.
Webinar: Net Zero Energy Buildings
U.S. DOE will host a zero energy buildings webinar on December 3 from 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET as part of its Better Buildings Challenge, where leading businesses, manufacturers, cities, states, universities, and school districts commit to improving the energy efficiency of their building portfolio by at least 20% over 10 years. Speakers from Stantec, Washington College, and EwingCole will address financial, technological, and design process innovations for zero energy buildings, relying on building efficiency and onsite renewable energy generation to achieve net zero energy use. Click here to register for the webinar.
TAEBC’s “Opportunities in Energy” Meeting
The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) is a champion of Tennessee’s advanced energy economy, fostering the growth of the state’s advanced energy technologies, companies, and jobs. TAEBC will host its annual Opportunities in Energy meeting at The Square Room in Knoxville on December 5 from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET. Representatives from Verizon Wireless will provide a keynote presentation on the deployment of 5G technologies and how such technologies can impact the energy sector. Other speakers will address high performance computing projects, the future of energy and mobility, and TAEBC’s Energy Mentor Network, which connects startup entrepreneurs with industry mentors to foster new energy innovations. Click here to view the full agenda and register for the meeting.
Webinar: U.S. Energy & Employment Report
The National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), in partnership with the Energy Futures Initiative and BW Research Partnership, will host a webinar on December 10 at 1:00 PM ET to discuss the U.S. Energy & Employment Report (USEER). USEER catalogues and synthesizes the results of an annual, national workforce survey about the energy, energy-related, and advanced manufacturing industries, addressing businesses that research, develop, manufacture, install, or work with products that generate, distribute, or save energy. This includes organizations involved in fossil and renewable energy production; energy efficiency products and services; motor vehicles; solar, wind, fossil, other energy sources; and energy-related products and services. The webinar will offer exclusive insights and analysis of the energy employment data gathered for the 2019 USEER as well as preview the 2020 survey and analysis process. Click here to register for the webinar.
TREEDC 2019 Renewable Energy Summit
The Tennessee Renewable Energy and Economic Development Council (TREEDC) will host its 2019 Renewable Energy Summit at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville from December 12-13. The TREEDC conference will feature a mayoral panel on best practices for economic development, energy efficiency, and renewable energy innovations, and will include presentations from the mayors of McKenzie, Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Franklin. Attendees will also hear from State and federal government leaders, including representatives from TDEC, TVA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, who will provide information and insights on the future of renewable energy in Tennessee. Click here to view the Summit agenda. Register for the event here.
2020 ACEEE Conference on Health, Environment, and Energy
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) will hold their annual Conference on Health, Environment, and Energy in New Orleans from January 21-23, 2020. The Conference will showcase research from ACEEE’s Health and Environment program as well as the work of prominent experts and academics in this growing field. Georges C. Benjamin, MD, the executive director of the American Public Health Association, will deliver a keynote address on public health approaches for addressing climate change. Other speakers will touch on energy programs that can support vulnerable populations, how health and energy targets can be translated into local action, and potential funding opportunities that can support the intersection between energy innovation and health outcomes. Participants may include health professionals, researchers, policymakers, regulators, advocates, and more. Physicians (CMEs), nurses (CNEs), public health professionals (CHES/CPH), architects (HSW LUs), and building science professionals can also earn continuing education credits at this event. Click here to view the preliminary conference agenda. Click here to register.
U.S. DOE Launches National Community Solar Partnership
U.S. DOE recently launched the National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP), a coalition of solar stakeholders working to expand access to affordable community solar for every American household by 2025. This partnership will develop multi-stakeholder teams to convene around specific goals, provide technical assistance for unique local challenges, and develop an online community platform to support information exchange, focusing on the following topic areas:
  • Development of community solar models that enable adoption in underserved communities;
  • Identification of community solar models that reduce energy bills for those living in multifamily affordable housing units; and
  • Establishment of utility partnerships around community solar models to expand solar access in their communities.
Organizations interested in joining the partnership should contact NCSP by email.
Report: Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings
A recently released NASEO paper describes how grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEBs) enable flexible load management opportunities, reduce energy system stresses, and provide grid services that can lower costs, reduce emissions, and improve energy resilience. The report identifies GEB technical characteristics, challenges, and opportunities as well as potential policy, regulatory, and administrative drivers and impediments. Click here to read the full report.
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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