EPB & TVA Complete 600th Home Uplift Energy Renovation and Announce Additional Program Funding
EPB and TVA have completed their 600th Home Uplift energy renovation and announced the investment of another $1,068,146 into the program. Through Home Uplift, EPB and TVA EnergyRight work with neighbors in need to provide substantial home energy upgrades to reduce energy bills and improve air quality at no charge. Both homeowners and renters can apply for the program. 
Since the program was implemented across TVA's seven-state region four years ago, 3,386 homes have received energy upgrades. For a typical investment of about $10,000 in home insulation, window weatherization, and more energy-efficient appliance, furnaces, and air conditioners, the average home has cut electricity use by about 25%.
Lenoir City Schools Receive ASHRAE Region VII Technology Award
Lenoir City Schools was awarded a Regional Technology Award at the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Region VII Chapters Regional Conference in Knoxville, TN. The ASHRAE Technology Awards are the heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration industry’s most prestigious honor for energy-efficient use in buildings and environmental system performance and recognize outstanding design innovation and successful implementation. Evaluation criteria include Energy Efficiency, Indoor Air Quality, Innovation, Operation and Maintenance, Cost Effectiveness, and Environmental impact. 
The approximately $5 million project was fully funded by a 15-year, low-interest loan from the Energy Efficient Schools Initiative (EESI) and was implemented by Trane Energy Services. Savings were further enhanced by approximately $85,000 in energy efficiency rebates from TVA.
 Click here or visit for more information on EESI. 

Workforce Mid-South to Receive $21.5 Million for Workforce Development Support in West TN

The U.S. Department of Commerce recently announced that Workforce Mid-South was selected to receive $21.5 million under the American Rescue Plan’s Good Jobs Challenge to set up three Accelerated Skills Training Centers serving West Tennessee, East Arkansas, and North Mississippi. The centers will offer accelerated skills training over the course of four to 24 weeks. By working in partnership with Ford Motor Company, the project will support the growing electric vehicle industry following Ford’s announcement that it will build a multi-billion-dollar facility in West Tennessee.
This project will also strengthen American supply chains by creating a pipeline of skilled workers for employers like FedEx, whose World Hub in Memphis is the centerpiece of its global distribution and delivery operations. Its backbone organizations—Greater Memphis Chamber (manufacturing), University of Memphis (transportation, distribution, and logistics), and Moore Tech (building and construction)—will work in close partnership with local employers and community organizations to ensure training programs quickly lead to the skilled workforce needed for the region’s economy to expand in the coming years.
Learn more about Workforce Mid-South at

TVA Moving Forward with Plans for Modular Nuclear Reactor

TVA has reached an agreement with a nuclear manufacturer to pursue a small modular reactor design at its Clinch River site near Oak Ridge. The utility will spend the next year preparing a construction permit to build the 300-megawatt reactors as soon as 2030. More than two dozen small reactor designs are under development, including the GE Hitachi BWRX-300, which has been selected for the site.

U.S. DOE Requests Feedback on Clean Energy Initiatives

Critical Materials Research Program to Strengthen Clean Energy Technology Manufacturing in America
U.S. DOE requests information on the development and implementation of a $675 million Critical Materials Research, Development, Demonstration, and Commercialization Program funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The program will address vulnerabilities in the domestic critical materials supply chain. Critical materials include rare-earth elements, lithium, nickel, and cobalt, which are required for manufacturing many clean energy technologies, including batteries, electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels.
Feedback is requested from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, state and local coalitions, labor unions, tribes, community-based organizations, and others on the structure of these programs, timing and distribution of funds, and selection criteria. Responses are due September 8.

Advanced Energy Manufacturing & Recycling Program
U.S. DOE is requesting public input to help inform the implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s  $750 million Advanced Energy Manufacturing & Recycling Grant Program. The program will support small and medium-sized manufacturers to produce or recycle clean energy products or deploy cutting-edge greenhouse gas emissions reduction equipment at facilities in coal communities.
Feedback is requested from small- and medium-sized manufacturers, including minority-owned firms; individuals and organizations involved in clean energy business planning, siting, operations, and management; academic experts; research laboratories; government agencies; Tribes; State and local officials; labor unions; economic development organizations; community-based organizations; and other stakeholders.
Information requested includes how the program can effectively bolster secure, resilient clean energy supply chains and support community development and economic revitalization in communities that have experienced coal mine and coal power plant closures. This includes technical assistance for manufacturers to support the transition of former coal workers into clean energy jobs and shift energy infrastructure into hubs for future economic growth.
To help inform DOE’s implementation of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Section 40209, this request seeks input on:
  • Clean Energy Property Projects
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Projects
  • Small- and Medium-sized Manufacturing Firms
  • Project Finance and Commercial Viability
  • Community and Labor Engagement
  • Investing in the American Workforce
  • Equity, Environmental, and Energy Justice
View the webinar on the request for information, or contact for additional information.  Responses should be emailed to by September 16.
Barriers and Pathways to Integrating Onsite Clean Energy Technologies in the Industrial Sector
U.S. DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office is interested in understanding how it can support the deployment of critical decarbonization technologies. Onsite clean energy technologies include, but are not limited to, solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, wind power, renewable fuels, geothermal, battery storage, and thermal storage. Feedback is welcome from end-users of onsite systems for details on the challenges they face, as well as from academia, research laboratories, state and local policymakers, utilities, regulators, government agencies, community-based organizations, and more.
Information on the following is requested:
  • The current state of onsite clean energy technology use in the industrial sector
  • Opportunities and barriers for onsite clean energy technology deployment
  • Existing technical assistance and resources available for onsite clean energy projects
  • Pathways to accelerate the adoption of onsite clean energy technologies
  • Workforce development opportunities and equity considerations for programmatic planning
Find the stakeholder toolkit here. Responses are due September 23

 White House Launches Public Process to Inform Development of Environmental Justice Scorecard

The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is taking the next step in developing an Environmental Justice Scorecard. This tool will assess the progress Federal agencies are making to advance environmental justice, including through the Justice40 Initiative.
The draft framework for the Environmental Justice Scorecard, on which feedback and comment are requested, would assess the efforts that Federal agencies are taking toward:
  • Reducing burdens and harms in communities,
  • Delivering benefits to communities, and
  • Centering justice in decision making.
The public can submit comments on the Scorecard until October 2 through the Federal Register.
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.
EPA Announces $11 Million for Technical Assistance Centers to Support Underserved Communities
The U.S. EPA announced the availability of $11 million in initial grant funding to establish Environmental Justice Thriving Community Technical Assistance Centers across the country. The Centers will provide technical assistance, training, and capacity-building support to communities with environmental justice concerns and their partners. They will also assist with navigating federal systems such as and, effectively managing and leveraging grant funding, and translation and interpretation services for limited English-speaking participants. The EPA funding is available under the first year of a partnership with U.S. DOE, with future phases of up to 10 multi-year awards for a maximum potential program value of $50 million. Applications are due on October 4.
Deadline Extended for Advanced Nuclear Technology Development Funding
Applications for the U.S. DOE Advanced Nuclear Technology Development Funding are now due October 11. This funding opportunity aims to support the innovation and competitiveness of the U.S. nuclear industry through cost-shared, cross-cutting research, development, and demonstration or commercial application research and development activities for all aspects of existing and advanced reactor development. U.S. DOE also updated the available funding table and added a new area of interest around nuclear-coupled hydrogen production and use. Find additional information here
U.S. DOE Announces Solar and Wind Grid Services and Reliability Demonstration Funding
U.S. DOE announced the Solar and Wind Grid Services and Reliability Demonstration funding opportunity, which will award $26 million in funding for projects that demonstrate the reliable operation of a power system that has up to 100% of its power contribution coming from solar, wind, and/or battery storage resources.
Grid services largely involve voltage and frequency stability, which are critical to maintaining reliability. Because new wind and solar generation are interfaced with the grid through power electronic inverters, they have different characteristics and dynamics than traditional sources of generation that currently supply these services. Demonstrating that a grid powered entirely by inverter-based resources is as reliable or more reliable at providing these services is a key need for the clean energy transition.
Projects in this funding opportunity will support the development of controls and methods for inverter-based resources like solar and wind to provide the same grid services as traditional generation. Two topic areas will be considered under this funding opportunity: 
  • Topic Area 1: Wind and Solar Grid Services Design, Implementation, and Demonstration, 3-5 projects will be funded at $3-6 million each
  • Topic Area 2: Protection of Bulk Power Systems with High Contribution from Inverter-Based Resources, 3-4 projects will be funded at $2-3 million each
Watch the recording of an informational webinar or download the slides here. Concept papers are due September 15, and full applications are due November 17
U.S. DOE Announces New Solar Funding Opportunities
Advancing Equity Through Workforce Partnership
U.S. DOE announced the Advancing Equity Through Workforce Partnerships funding opportunity, which will award $10 million 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 announcement 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
U.S. DOE anticipates making 8 to 16 awards under the program, with each ranging between $250,000 and $1.5 million. View the recording of an informational webinar with the password WyJAxBq5. Letters of intent are due September 13, and full applications are due December 6.
FY 22 Solar Manufacturing Incubator
U.S. DOE recently announced the Fiscal Year 2022 Solar Manufacturing Incubator Funding Opportunity, which will award $27 million for 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.
The 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 benefit the U.S. economy.
U.S. DOE anticipates making 6 to 17 awards under the program, with each ranging between $500,000 and $10 million.
Click here to view slides from an informational webinar held by U. S. DOE regarding the funding opportunity. Letters of intent to apply are due September 16, with full applications due October 3.
American-Made Solar Prize Round 6
U.S. DOE recently launched Round 6 of the American-Made Solar Prize, a $4 million competition designed to spur innovations in U.S. solar hardware and software technologies and address challenges to rapid, equitable solar energy deployment. In Round 6, the previously separate hardware and software tracks will be merged into one track for all competitors. This challenge requires competitors to progress quickly, form private-sector partnerships, and engage customers to bring their ideas to life. Interested participants can sign up and read the official competition rules on the HeroX platform.
Entrepreneurial students, professors, small business owners, company staffers, researchers at national laboratories, or anyone else based in the U.S. with a potentially marketable solar technology solution are eligible to compete. Competitors can access the American-Made Network to find partners and testing facilities to accelerate their progress.
The competition contains an optional Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Contest that runs parallel with every competition phase. Competitors have three opportunities to vie for additional cash prizes if their solution addresses solar market barriers faced by underserved communities and work to substantially advance their approach toward JEDI goals.
Individually, each competitor can win up to $700,000 in cash and $150,000 in technical support vouchers over the course of three phases (not inclusive of the JEDI Contest prize money). Sign-ups to compete must be completed by October 6. For questions, e-mail Click here to sign up.
The Sunny Awards for Equitable Community Solar
The Sunny Awards for Equitable Community Solar (The Sunny Awards) is a $100,000 U.S. DOE prize competition that recognizes community solar projects that increase equitable access to the meaningful benefits of community solar for subscribers and their communities.
Community solar includes any solar project or purchasing program in which the benefits of a solar project flow to multiple customers—such as individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and other groups—within a particular geographic area. Community solar projects and programs can vary significantly in their structure, implementation, and benefits.
To apply, community solar projects and programs must be able to prove that they are providing meaningful benefits in at least one of the following categories:
  • Greater Household Savings
  • Low- to moderate-income (LMI) Household Access
  • Resilience and Grid Benefits
  • Community Ownership
  • Equitable Workforce Development
    Read the official rules and find the submission template here. Submissions are due October 7
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 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 and the evolving technical opportunities facing the industry in the Tennessee Valley region, including a Grid Integration Track led by EPRI, a non-profit energy research and development organization. Click here to register. See the conference agenda here.
The State of Clean Energy - 2022
The Clean Energy Business Network recently released the 2022 State of Clean Energy report. The website provides an interactive map depicting state CO2 emission rates for the electricity sector. Explore the map to view state-level data on power sector emissions and key statistics for clean energy deployment, efficiency, and jobs. Also available are top 10 lists for states in various clean energy categories. Read more from the report on Tennessee here
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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