Metro-Nashville Plans for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
On June 5, the Metropolitan Council (the legislative authority of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County) approved three bills aimed at stimulating Metro-Nashville’s energy efficient and sustainability future:
  • Bill BL2019-1598: By January 1, 2022, and every two years thereafter, the Metro-Nashville Department of General Services shall develop a greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan for its vehicle fleet. The plan shall include proposals on how to meet the above targets and goals for reducing emissions as well as associated cost estimates. By 2050, 100% of vehicles in the Metro-owned fleet shall be zero-emission vehicles.
  • Bill BL2019-1599: By July 1, 2020, the Metro-Nashville Department of General Services shall develop a strategic energy management plan for reducing energy and water use across Metro-owned buildings. The plan will identify ways to retrofit existing facilities with a goal of achieving at least 20% reductions in both energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in 9% of Metro-owned buildings by square footage between 2021 and 2024; the plan will also identify a method for implementing a LEED Zero retrofit program in 12.5% of Metro-owned buildings by square footage between 2026 and 2032. Metro-Nashville must also adopt higher sustainability standards for new construction projects that "exceed five thousand gross square feet of occupied space or for which the total project cost exceeds two million dollars."
  • Bill BL2019-1600: By 2041, all Metro-owned buildings must be powered by 100% carbon free, renewable energy sources. The renewable energy portfolio standard for Metro-Nashville is defined by year here, from 2020 to 2041.
TDEC OEP Promotes K-12 Energy Education in Tennessee
TDEC OEP has a long history of supporting K-12 energy education through professional development and student learning opportunities. These offerings link the broad topic of energy to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects and provide educators with the knowledge and resources necessary to teach energy concepts. Below are a few examples of OEP’s energy education activities throughout the month of June. Learn more about OEP’s K-12 Energy Education programming here.
Workshops and Other Outreach Events
OEP participated in STEM Summer Camps at both North Parkway Middle School in Jackson and Smith County High School in Carthage, reaching 117 students and educators with lessons on chemical, gravitational, and radiant forms of energy as well as energy conservation.
OEP also hosted an Energy Education Workshop at Margaret Robertson Apartment Complex in Hermitage as part of the Summer Feeding and Environmental Education Program, supported through collaboration between the TDEC Office of Policy and Sustainable Practices, local community organizations, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program. The program provides fun, environmentally-themed activities and lunch one day a week to youth who may not otherwise have the opportunity to receive a nourishing meal and learn about topics like energy, sustainability, geology, and recycling. OEP provided 15 children with free energy education activities and take-home materials, including solar-powered toy cars and energy-related activity books.
Finally, OEP participated as one of several instructors in the Davidson County Play Like a Girl STEM Camp, a week-long day camp designed to expose middle school girls to exciting and unique career opportunities in STEM fields. OEP provided instruction on solar energy and radiant heat for the camp’s 22 attendees, leading the girls in the construction and operation of solar ovens to make s’mores.
Energy Camp for K-12 Educators
OEP recently conducted Energy Education Camps for K-12 Educators at both Cumberland Mountain State Park and Roan Mountain State Park. The Camps are comprised of three-day training sessions and provide 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. OEP will host its third and final 2019 Energy Camp in July at Natchez Trace State Park.
Michie Elementary and Lipscomb Academy Win 2019 NEED Project Youth Awards
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 and Lipscomb Academy were respectively named the NEED Project Youth Awards’ Elementary and Primary Schools of the Year at both the state and national levels. State winners, finalists, and staff members represented Tennessee at the National Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C. from June 21-24. Learn more about the NEED Project Youth Awards here.
C2 Energy Capital Completes 2.7 MW Solar System Near Somerville
Last month, C2 Energy Capital announced the completion of a 2.7 MW solar power generation plant located near Somerville. C2 Energy Capital provided financing and support services for the deployment and construction of the plant, which was installed on a capped landfill that is leased from Fayette County. The power generated from the project will be sold to TVA under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement. Learn more about the project here.
Knoxville-Based Carbon Rivers LLC Receives Funding to Research Proccesses for Retirement of Wind Turbine Blades
U.S. DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy recently provided $22 million to fund 109 projects under the Small Business Innovation Research Program. Funded projects focus on renewable energy, battery technologies, energy efficiency, and other critical energy fields. Under this award, Knoxville-based Carbon Rivers LLC will research an innovative, energy-saving process to repurpose waste from end-of-life wind turbine blades. Click here to learn more.  
General Mills Hits Energy Goals Early
In 2012, General Mills joined U.S. DOE’s Better Plants Challenge, establishing a 20% energy reduction goal by 2022 for its largest U.S. plants, including one in Tennessee. Last month, U.S. DOE officially recognized General Mills for surpassing its energy savings target three years early. General Mills has an additional plan in place to reduce its absolute greenhouse gas emissions across the value chain by 28% between 2010 to 2025. Click here to learn more.
TDEC Green Star Partnership Celebrated by Compressed Air Best Practices Magazine
The Tennessee Green Star Partnership (TGSP) is a voluntary environmental leadership program facilitated by the TDEC Office of Policy and Sustainable Practices. The partnership recognizes Tennessee manufacturers that are committed to sustainability and that exhibit continuous improvement throughout their entire operation. In all, 54 manufacturers participate in the TGSP program, including small companies as well as major global brands in the automotive, food, and building products industries (e.g., Bridgestone Americas, Nissan, Unilever, Frito-Lay, General Motors, etc.). Participating manufacturers are required to operate under an active ISO 14001 certification or an equivalent environmental management system. Member companies must also have a minimum of three years of environmental compliance with TDEC regulations. TGSP was recently highlighted by Compressed Air Best Practices Magazine; the article celebrates the peer-to-peer network that reduced energy use by 144,925 MWh in fiscal year 2017-2018 for a savings of $23,645,267 across all participants. Additionally, members reduced solid waste by almost 250,000 tons in that same reporting period. For more information on the TGSP network, click here.
Partners for Places Grant Program
The Funders' Network, in partnership with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, recently announced a new round of funding for the Partners for Places grant program. Partners for Places is a matching grant program that improves communities by building partnerships between local government sustainability leaders and place-based foundations. The grant program will provide partnership investments between $25,000 and $75,000 for one year projects, or between $50,000 and $100,000 for two year projects, with a 1:1 match required by one or more local foundations. Successful proposals will identify planning processes or projects that local government leaders and place-based funders consider important for advancing sustainability goals in their communities. The project must either:
  1. Advance a key aspect of one of the plans listed below; or
  2. Support creation of one of the plans listed below.
Eligible plans include:
  1. A community-focused sustainability, climate action, adaptation/resilience, equity, water, or comprehensive plan provision that specifically addresses sustainability and/or green stormwater infrastructure.
  2. Any multi-issue community plan that explicitly states and pursues the goal of integrating and/or balancing economic development, environmental quality, and equity.
Applications are due by July 30. Click here to learn more and apply.
U.S. DOE Announces $2M for Geothermal Research
As part of its new membership with GEOTHERMICA (a transnational consortium that combines financial resources and research expertise to demonstrate and validate novel concepts in geothermal energy use), U.S. DOE announced it will contribute up to $2 million in funding to advance geothermal research and development. In addition to the United States, Norway is also joining GEOTHERMICA and its founding partners: Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, Germany, France, Turkey, Portugal, Ireland, Romania, Italy, and Slovenia. Collectively, these nations will work to optimize geothermal direct-use and power generation, including development of innovative, integrated, and combined systems. GEOTHERMICA encourages consortia with a wide geographic spectrum to apply, requiring that eligible consortia represent at least three participating countries. Consortia may consist of applicants and partners from companies, research organizations, universities and higher education institutions, industry organizations, local/regional governments, and non-government organizations. GEOTHERMICA focuses on three technological themes, which cover all stages in the development cycle of a secure, sustainable, competitive, and affordable geothermal installation:
  • Identification and assessment of geothermal resources suitable for direct use and power generation;
  • Geothermal resource development (drilling, completion, materials, and equipment); and
  • Supply and smart integration into energy system and operations.
Pre-proposals must be submitted by 13:00 UTC on Friday, September 13. Full proposals will be accepted until 13:00 UTC on Friday, January 31, 2020. Click here to learn more about the funding opportunity. Apply at
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federally funded grant program that aims to assist low-income households, primarily those that pay a high proportion of household income on home energy, in meeting their immediate energy needs. In Tennessee, LIHEAP is administered through a network of 19 local agencies that reach all 95 counties.
Applicants must come from eligible households with income at or below 150% of U.S. Poverty Guidelines. Applications, along with all necessary verifications, must be submitted through the designated LIHEAP agency in the applicant's county of residence. LIHEAP offers one-time assistance to help defray heating and cooling expenses, as long as funding is available. LIHEAP assistance does not go directly to the client or applicant; rather, direct payments are made through the LIHEAP agency to the local power company or energy supplier.
For more information or to receive assistance with the application process, please contact your local LIHEAP agency. Click here for a list of agencies and counties they serve. Click here to learn more about LIHEAP in Tennessee. Applications for LIHEAP 2019 are due by September 30.
Metro-Nashville's Socket Sustainability Art Contest
Socket is Metro-Nashville’s public sustainability education program. This summer, Socket invites kids to go green and get creative through a Sustainability Art Contest. Nashville kids between the ages of 3 and 10 may submit a drawing of Socket the Dog (Metro-Nashville’s sustainability mascot) doing something environmentally friendly, like riding a bike, planting a garden, taking a bus, or changing a lightbulb. The drawings can be submitted at Artists who provide a mailing address will receive a Socket coloring book and sticker for free. All drawings will be shared on Socket’s website and on social media at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Entries must be submitted by July 1. Submissions are limited to one drawing per child, and winners will be announced by July 8. Prizes include a one-year family membership to the Nashville Zoo, a sustainable art gift basket, family day passes to the Adventure Science Center, or a STEM creativity box. Learn more here.
TAEBC Lunch and Learn with TVA Board Member Jeff Smith
TVA CEO Jeff Lyash recently announced that the company expects to reduce power generation carbon emissions by 70% from 2005 levels by the end of the next decade. TVA will continue to retire aging coal plants and expand its natural gas and renewable power portfolio to meet this goal. Currently, TVA gets more than half of its generation from power plants that emit no greenhouse gases, including around 40% from nuclear power and around 10-15% from hydropower. Read more here.
The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council recently announced a Lunch and Learn event on July 15 from 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM ET at the UT-Oak Ridge Facility with TVA board member Jeff Smith and CEO Jeff Lyash (invited). RSVP for the meeting now to learn about TVA’s power generation goals and participate in a live Q&A with TVA leadership.
ESPC ESA Webinar
The National Institute of Building Sciences is hosting an energy savings performance contract (ESPC) energy sales agreement (ESA) webinar series under its Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG) program. On July 23 from 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM ET, WBDG will host a webinar to address several topics related to ESPC ESA, such as forming a strong project team, validating the feasibility of the distributed energy project at a site, acquisition planning, proposal development, procurement, proposal evaluation, contracting, and construction and performance periods. The webinar will also provide an overview of the resources available in the ESPC ESA Toolkit, such as checklists and templates. Click here to register.
Urban Runoff 5K Celebrates Green Stormwater Management
Nashville’s Metro Water Services, TDEC, and the Tennessee Stormwater Association have teamed up to host the Urban Runoff 5k run in Nashville on August 3. The run is being held in Shelby Bottoms Greenway and will weave its way past several innovative stormwater management structures. The race will be chip-timed and held in rain or shine. To volunteer for the run, click here. For additional details or to register, click here. Registration for the race will cost $30.
Renewable Natural Gas Workshop in Nashville
RNG WORKS is a two-day technical workshop and trade expo for the North American Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) industry, hosted by the RNG Coalition. The Coalition recently released a save-the-date for the annual event, which will be held in Nashville from September 11-12. The event is designed to educate feedstock owners (landfill, wastewater, livestock, agriculture, food processing, etc.); RNG project developers, operators, financiers, and engineers; and RNG end-users (fleets, municipalities, utilities, etc.) about RNG best practices and resources for increased development, deployment, and utilization of RNG across the region. Learn more at
Register for the Tennessee Valley Solar Conference
The Tennessee Solar Energy Industries Association (TenneSEIA) will host the Tennessee Valley Solar Conference on October 16 at the Embassy Suites in Franklin. The purpose of the conference is to bring together solar advocates and adopters to discuss strategies, market trends, and policies that impact the Tennessee Valley solar industry. Visit to learn more. Early bird registration is now available.
Energy Efficiency Day is October 2: New Guides Released for 2019
Each year, organizations and citizens across the country endorse energy efficiency’s benefits and participate in online energy efficiency challenges and promotions in celebration of Energy Efficiency Day (EE Day). Cities, counties, and states issued official proclamations to recognize EE Day last year, as did the U.S. Senate. EE Day 2019 (#EEDay2019) will return on October 2, and event organizers have already updated the EE Day website with new energy efficiency campaigns and materials. As October approaches, EE Day organizers ask that interested parties sign up as 2019 supporters. These supporters will receive both updates from EE Day organizers as well as energy efficiency facts and materials to share on social media. Find more EE Day resources at
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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