White House Launches BIL Programs to Slash Carbon Emissions, Modernize America’s Power Grid
The White House, through U.S. DOE, recently issued Notices of Intent (NOI) to fund two programs that will advance carbon capture demonstration projects and expand regional pipeline networks to transport carbon dioxide (CO2) for permanent geologic storage or for conversion into valued end uses, such as construction materials. The two programs – the Carbon Capture Demonstration Projects Program and the Carbon Dioxide Transport/Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) Program – are funded by a more than $2.6 billion investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).
The $2.54 billion Carbon Capture Demonstration Projects Program will focus on integrated carbon capture, transport, and storage technologies as well as infrastructure that can be readily replicated and deployed at fossil energy power plants and major industrial sources of CO2, such as cement, pulp and paper, iron and steel, and certain types of chemical production facilities. More information on the Carbon Capture Demonstration Projects NOI can be found here.
The $100 million Carbon Dioxide Transport/Front-End Engineering Design Program will design regional carbon dioxide pipeline systems to safely transport CO2 from key sources to centralized locations. Projects will expand DOE’s knowledge of carbon transport costs, transport network configurations, and technical and commercial considerations to support the country’s broader efforts to develop and deploy carbon capture and carbon dioxide removal technologies, carbon conversion, and storage at commercial scale. More information on the Carbon Dioxide Transport/Front-End Engineering Design Program NOI can be found here.
Additionally, the White House and DOE opened the application period for States, Tribal nations, and territories to apply for the $2.3 billion formula grant program designed to strengthen and modernize America’s power grid against wildfires, extreme weather, and other natural disasters exacerbated by the climate crisis. The Preventing Outages and Enhancing the Resilience of the Electric Grid formula grant program will provide $459 million annually (including approximately $7,600,000 to the State of Tennessee) to States and Tribal nations over an anticipated five-year period to improve the resilience of the electric grid against disruptive events. Click here for more information.
U.S. DOE Announces Over 140 Programs Supporting Justice40 Initiative
U.S. DOE recently announced 146 programs that support the federal Justice40 Initiative, which aims to ensure federal agencies deliver 40% of the overall benefits of climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, clean water, and other investments to disadvantaged communities. The Justice40 Initiative provides a pathway for equitable clean energy deployment to benefit communities that are overburdened, underserved, and have been disproportionately impacted by climate change and environmental injustice.
To provide transparency and accountability in DOE’s efforts, the Department’s list of Justice40 programs highlights its top priorities to advance environmental justice and an equitable clean energy future, and details how program offices are implementing strategies for disadvantaged communities. Explore the full list of covered programs here. In total, hundreds of Federal programs, representing billions of dollars in annual investment across the Federal government, are being utilized to maximize benefits to disadvantaged communities through the Justice40 Initiative. 

TVA Issues Request for Up to 5,000 MW of Carbon-Free Energy to Go Online before 2029
TVA recently issued a Request for Proposals for up to 5,000 megawatts of carbon-free energy that must be operational before 2029, one of the largest clean energy procurement requests in the nation. This action will support TVA’s strategy to reduce carbon emissions from 2005 levels by 70% by 2030, 80% by 2035, and to be net-zero by 2050, as the agency explores and accelerates carbon-free technologies and moves to bring an additional 10,000 megawatts of solar energy capacity online by 2035.
Request for Proposal responses must be submitted by October 19, and TVA will announce selected projects in spring 2023. Learn more about TVA’s decarbonization work, diversity and inclusion efforts, strategic planning, financial health, new nuclear program and more at
UT-Knoxville Receives Funding for Smart Energy Management Pilot
U.S. DOE recently announced $10 million in funding for six projects to drive adoption of clean energy technologies that are critical for climate protection. This funding aims to support energy efficiency improvements in manufacturing, which benefit the industrial sector as well as reduce the lifecycle carbon intensity of products used throughout the economy.
Under this award, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville will receive $396,813 for its pilot project under the Pilot Programs to Accelerate the Integration of Smart Manufacturing and Energy Management Systems topic. With project partners the Tennessee Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the East Tennessee for Smart Energy Management (ETISE) project will create a regional model for technical assistance and workforce training to effectively integrate smart manufacturing in energy management systems into energy-related business practices. The resulting regional model based in East Tennessee could be applied to other regions to reduce manufacturing energy consumption and carbon emissions.
Click here to view the full list of funding recipients and their projects.
Tennessee Company Receives Funding for High-Performance Computing Project to Improve Energy Efficiency
U.S. DOE recently announced $3 million in federal funding for 10 high performance computing projects that will advance cutting edge manufacturing and clean energy technologies. Knoxville-based Reactwell, LLC will receive $300,000 to partner with ORNL to develop new approaches and research on efficient conversion of CO2 to ethanol. Additionally, ORNL will support five of the other nine projects under this award, each of which seeks to improve manufacturing efficiency and explore new materials for clean energy application through state-of-the-art modeling, simulation, and data analysis. Click here to view the full list of recipients.
ORNL Announces Sixth Cohort of Innovation Crossroads Clean Energy Entrepreneurs
ORNL’s Innovation Crossroads program welcomes six new science and technology innovators from across the United States to its sixth cohort. As the Southeast’s only research and development program for entrepreneurs based at a U.S. DOE national laboratory, Innovation Crossroads provides unique support to science-based startups to help advance game-changing technologies from the laboratory to the marketplace.
The innovators were selected through a competitive merit-based process and will have the opportunity to advance technologies they aim to commercialize by working with world-class science experts and unique capabilities at ORNL. The innovators will be partnered with a network of mentoring organizations in the Southeast to help develop business strategies to move their technology breakthroughs into the market. Click here to learn more about the new cohort and the cutting-edge projects they support.
TVA, Silicon Ranch, DENSO to Partner on Solar Project Portfolio in Maryville
DENSO, a leading mobility supplier, will participate in a portfolio of solar projects that will help power operations at its Maryville facility. Through a collaboration with local utility City of Maryville Electric Department, TVA, and Nashville-based Silicon Ranch Corporation, DENSO will receive a portion of the renewable energy generated by four solar power plants, starting with one located on DENSO’s Maryville campus.
The Maryville City Council approved three contracts between the City of Maryville Electric Department and independent power producer Silicon Ranch for a total of 10.5 MW of solar energy under TVA’s Generation Flexibility program, a portion of which will serve DENSO’s local operations. The program enables participating local power companies to generate up to 5% of their total energy load to meet the renewable energy goals of their customers, attract sustainability-focused businesses to their communities, and solve individual challenges for their distribution systems. In addition to its role in the three solar projects under TVA’s Generation Flexibility program, DENSO will also participate in TVA’s Green Invest program through a fourth Silicon Ranch facility.
TDEC OEP K-12 Energy Education News
OEP has a long history of supporting K-12 Energy Education through professional development and student learning opportunities. OEP’s offerings include Energy Education Camps for K-12 Educators, Energy Education Workshops for both educators and students, Outreach Events, and continued support of the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project. These offerings connect the broad topic of energy to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects and provide educators and students with the knowledge and resources necessary to teach energy concepts. Learn more about OEP’s K-12 Energy Education programming here.
TDEC Holds Energy Camp for K-12 Educators
OEP recently conducted an Energy Education Camp for K-12 Educators at Montgomery Bell State Park. The Camp was comprised of three-day training sessions and provided energy-related lesson plans and resources designed for use in the K-12 classroom. These lessons promote energy literacy as it relates to STEM subjects and introduce educators to topics including, but not limited to, electricity generation, consumption, and measurement; renewable energy; and energy efficiency and conservation. Energy Education Camps are offered free of charge. 
Michie Elementary Wins 2022 NEED Project Youth Award
OEP is the State coordinator for the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project, which promotes energy education among students, educators, and civic leaders through the design and delivery of energy education programs. NEED works with energy companies, local government agencies, and community organizations to provide balanced energy programs to the nation’s schools with a focus on professional development for teachers, curriculum design, and turn-key energy education strategies. NEED honors schools across the country through its NEED Project Youth Awards for Energy Achievement, a competition in which teachers take their energy education programs beyond the classroom and encourage students to engage in school and community outreach to share what they have learned about energy efficiency and conservation.
In June, Michie Elementary was named the NEED Project Youth Awards’ State School of the Year. To view Michie Elementary's Project, "Exploring Energy," click here. To learn more about the NEED Project Youth Awards click here.
Better Buildings Summer Webinar Series
The U.S. DOE Better Buildings Webinar Series takes on the most pressing topics facing energy professionals, with new experts leading the conversation on proven best practices, cost-effective strategies, and innovative new ways to approach sustainability and energy performance. The series will continue throughout the summer and focus on key areas in the field of building energy efficiency. The next webinars in the series are:
  • August 2, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM ET: Implementing Renewable Energy in Industrial Facilities – Attendees will learn the basics of different renewable technologies, find out how to obtain renewable power for organizations, and discover tools and resources that can help evaluate renewable energy systems for industrial facilities.
  • August 4, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM ET: SLOPE: The Toolbox for Planning Your Clean Energy Future - The State and Local Planning for Energy (SLOPE) Platform provides a free ‘one-stop shop' for clean energy planning data. This webinar will include a demonstration of new features and will allow attendees to learn how SLOPE can support a jurisdiction’s energy planning.
  • August 9, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM ET: The First Principle of Sustainability: Use Less! - Many institutions and enterprises have made net-zero commitments, although “net” usually means procurement of renewable energy credits (RECs) and offsets. This webinar will walk through a successful deep energy efficiency program at the University of California, Irvine that is more impactful, permanent, and affordable than emissions offsets.
Click any of the above links to register for individual sessions. Click here to see the full webinar schedule.
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.
U.S. DOE Announces New Solar Funding Opportunities
FY 2022 Photovoltaics Research and Development
U.S. DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) announced the Fiscal Year 2022 Photovoltaics (PV) Research and Development (PVRD) funding opportunity, which will award $29 million in funding for projects that reduce costs and supply chain vulnerabilities, further develop durable and recyclable solar technologies, and advance perovskite PV technologies toward commercialization. Of the $29 million, $10 million will be funded by the BIL to increase the reuse and recycling of solar energy technologies.
The two topics of interest include:
  • Low-Cost Solutions to Reduce Environmental Burden and Materials Supply Chain Vulnerability - Projects in this topic will tackle the hardware costs and environmental impacts of PV materials through research into alternative metallization and contacting materials and processes, which will extend module life and efficient recovery of component materials at end-of-life. 
  • Durable, High-Efficiency Perovskite Modules - Projects in this topic will improve coordination amongst domestic researchers through collaborative, multi-stakeholder efforts to increase the understanding of perovskite module performance and develop processes to achieve stability and larger device areas.
Letters of Intent to apply are due August 5, and concept papers are due August 12. Full applications are due October 15. Click here to access the full Funding Opportunity Announcement.
FY 22 Solar Manufacturing Incubator
U.S. DOE SETO announced the Fiscal Year 2022 Solar Manufacturing Incubator Funding Opportunity, which will award $27 million for projects to accelerate commercialization of innovative product ideas that can increase U.S. domestic manufacturing across the solar industry supply chain and expand private investment in America’s solar manufacturing sector.
This funding program seeks to invest in innovative research, development, and demonstration projects that enable continued solar cost reductions, while developing next-generation solar technologies and boosting American solar manufacturing, especially in cadmium telluride (CdTe) photovoltaics. These projects will support the scaling of affordable solar and facilitate secure, reliable integration of solar electricity into the nation’s energy grid to ultimately benefit the U.S. economy.
SETO expects to make between 6 to 17 awards under the Fiscal Year 2022 Solar Manufacturing Incubator Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), each ranging between $500,000 and $10 million. SETO seeks diverse entrepreneurs, small businesses, and larger for-profit entities to apply.
Click here to register for an informational webinar held by DOE regarding this funding opportunity on August 3. Letters of intent to apply are due September 16, with full applications due October 3. Click here to access the full Funding Opportunity Announcement.
U.S. DOE Announces Funding for Advancing Equity in the Solar Energy Workforce
U.S. DOE recently announced the Advancing Equity Through Workforce Partnerships funding opportunity, which will award $10 million in BIL funding for the development of collaborative workforce programs that will facilitate the rapid deployment of solar energy technologies while supporting an inclusive workforce. Projects selected under this funding opportunity will be demand-driven and worker-centric, leverage existing infrastructure and resources, be sustainable and replicable, and prioritize energy justice issues.

Areas of interest include:
  • Apprenticeship readiness (pre-apprenticeship) or apprenticeship partnerships
  • Community-led training partnerships
  • Clean energy sector partnerships
DOE expects to make about 8 to 16 awards under this funding program, ranging between $250,000 and $1.5 million each, and seeks applications from diverse teams of training providers, labor unions, non-profit community-based organizations, solar developers, educational institutions (including minority-serving institutions (MSIs) and historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs)), tribal entities, and local governments. Click here to register for an informational webinar held by DOE to cover this FOA on August 4 at 2:00 PM Eastern. Letters of intent are due September 13, and concept papers are due September 20. Full applications under this award are due December 6. Click here to access the full FOA.
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. Click here to register. See the conference agenda here.
Launched in May 2021, SolarAPP+ is a web-based platform that automates solar permitting for local governments and permitting authorities. To date, the platform is active in nearly 20 jurisdictions and has processed more than 7,600 permits across the country.
This month, NREL published a report highlighting the impact of SolarAPP+ in its first year of operation. Researchers found that a typical SolarAPP+ project completes the full process—permit application to passed inspection—about 13 days sooner than a traditional project, based on a comparison of median timelines. That has enabled the installation of 42,241 kilowatts of new residential solar.
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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