Major Southeast Utilities Establish Hydrogen Hub Coalition
A newly-formed coalition including major utility companies Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Louisville Gas & Electric Company, Kentucky Utilities Company, Southern Company, and TVA announced this month its plan to pursue federal financial support for a Southeast Hydrogen Hub. The coalition will respond to the recently announced funding opportunity from U.S. DOE, which includes $8 billion for regional hydrogen hubs and is part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).
Other members of the Southeast Hydrogen Hub coalition will include a growing list of hydrogen users from a variety of industries in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The coalition expects its membership to grow as news of the opportunity spreads and as interest in hydrogen intensifies. A hydrogen hub in the Southeastern U.S. is expected to bring robust economic development benefits to the region. Hydrogen is attractive as an energy resource because it has immediate potential to accelerate decarbonization in the Southeast and across all sectors of the U.S. economy.
TN Community to Support Project Accelerating Resilience Through Renewables
The U.S. DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) Renewables Advancing Community Energy Resilience (RACER) initiative is a $33 million funding program supporting projects that enable communities to use solar and solar-plus-storage to prevent disruptions in power caused by extreme weather and other events.

Through this program, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) was selected as one of 20 recipients for its Accelerating Resilience of the Community through Holistic Engagement and Use of Renewables (ARCHER) Planning Framework. EPRI will receive $1 million to develop a community-focused planning framework that uses distributed energy resources like solar to provide more energy resilience, with a goal of minimizing the potential burden of outages on local residents. The project team will deploy the resilience planning framework a historically low-income, African American neighborhood in Nashville that was directly impacted by a destructive tornado and derecho in 2020, which caused extended power outages.

Click here to view the full list of funding recipients.
TVA, Silicon Ranch, DENSO Break Ground on First of Four TN Solar Sites
A supplier of equipment to the e-mobility industry joined TVA and the City of Maryville Electric Department at a groundbreaking for the first of four solar power farms that will provide electricity for the manufacturer’s campus. DENSO, which has a manufacturing plant in Maryville, TN, is building the solar farm along with Nashville-based solar development company Silicon Ranch. The new solar farm is the first of four that DENSO has planned in TN. When the solar projects are completed, and when coupled with additional energy conservation initiatives, DENSO anticipates that all of the electrical needs for its Maryville facility will be sourced from renewable energy. The installations will strengthen its involvement in U.S. DOE’s Better Plants program and bolster broader efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its manufacturing operations and energy use.
TN Entities to Receive Funding to Supercharge U.S. Manufacturing of Batteries for EVs and Electrical Grid
U.S. DOE announced the first set of projects funded by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to expand domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles and the electrical grid and for materials and components currently imported from other countries. Twenty companies will receive a combined $2.8 billion to build and expand commercial-scale facilities in 12 states to extract and process lithium, graphite and other battery materials; manufacture components; and demonstrate new approaches, including manufacturing components from recycled materials. The federal investment will be matched by recipients to leverage a total of more than $9 billion.
Tennessee-based companies Microvast, Inc., NOVONIX Anode Materials LLC, and Piedmont Lithium Inc. will together receive approximately $492 million in federal funding under this announcement for their various projects to strengthen energy independence, create good-paying construction and manufacturing jobs, and lower manufacturing costs. Click here to see fact sheets for each funded project. 
U.S. DOE Announces Open Applications for Second Year of Efficient and Healthy Schools Campaign
Applications are now open to work with U.S. DOE on the Efficient and Healthy Schools Campaign. This initiative works to improve energy performance, reduce carbon emissions, and promote a healthy learning environment in K-12 schools—especially those serving low-income student populations and in rural areas.
Through this interagency effort, U.S. DOE, the U.S. Department of Education, and U.S. EPA recognize exemplary solutions and activities that enhance energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality (IEQ: indoor air quality, lighting, thermal comfort, and/or acoustics), reduce emissions, and improve resilience in their buildings. To date, 44 school districts across 24 states have joined or are prepared to join the campaign, representing over 2.8 million students in 3,523 individual schools. This year, K-12 school districts and schools will be highlighted for planning activities and implemented solutions in the following categories:
  • Energy Efficiency Plus Health – Schools and districts that have implemented retrofits improving energy efficiency and IEQ or have performed building assessments and planning in preparation for retrofits with the goal to provide an energy efficient and healthy learning environment.
  • Emissions Reduction and Resilience – Schools and districts that have implemented strategies to reduce carbon emissions and that have taken actions to improve resilience or have identified pathways and planned activities with the goal of reducing carbon emissions and improving resilience.
For more information, watch a recording of the November 8th kickoff webinar.
Federal Requests for Information
Help Rural, Municipal, and Small Investor-owned Electric Utilities Enhance their Cybersecurity
U.S. DOE issued a Request for Information seeking public input on a new $250 million program to strengthen the cybersecurity posture of rural, municipal, and small investor-owned electric utilities. The Rural and Municipal Utility Advances Cybersecurity Grant and Technical Assistance Program, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, is designed to enter into cooperative agreements with eligible entities to protect against, detect, respond to, and recover from cybersecurity threats.
Responses to the RFI must be submitted via email to by 5:00 PM Eastern on December 19Download the RFI to see the complete list of questions, topics of interest, and submission guidelines.
Energy Efficiency Materials Pilot Program for Nonprofits
The Energy Efficiency Materials Pilot Program for Nonprofits is a new U.S. DOE program to provide nonprofit organizations with funding to upgrade building materials to improve energy efficiency, lower utility costs, and reduce carbon emissions. The program intends to provide nonprofits with energy efficiency materials including (i) a roof or lighting system or component of the system; (ii) a window; (iii) a door, including a security door; and (iv) a heating, ventilation, or air conditioning system or component of the system (including insulation and wiring and plumbing improvements needed to serve a more efficient system).
Responses to the RFI must be submitted via email to by 5:00 PM Eastern on December 22Download the RFI to see the complete list of questions, topics of interest, and submission guidelines.  
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.

Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize
The Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize will support new and existing coalitions addressing a local clean energy opportunity or environmental inequity in disadvantaged communities. Ten coalitions will receive a $30,000 cash prize and the chance to compete for an additional $165,000 each.
The prize seeks to carry out the directives of the Justice40 Initiative by identifying and supporting the following: 
  • Newly partnered or existing community-based coalitions that have recently committed to helping underrepresented communities address energy challenges and implement clean energy solutions.
  • Further development of relevant in-community coalitions executing projects that are consistent with the Justice40 Initiative and U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's focus on clean energy technologies and implementation.
  • Long-term engagement by the relevant in-community coalitions on energy challenges on behalf of the communities served.
This prize has an easy application process, due December 7, in which applicants will define their coalitions and the opportunity or inequity they intend to address. 
White House Announces $13 Billion to Modernize and Expand America’s Power Grid
The White House, through U.S. DOE announced $13 billion in new financing opportunities for the expansion and modernization of the nation’s electric grid. Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), the Grid Resilience Innovative Partnership (GRIP) program and the Transmission Facilitation Program together represent the largest single direct federal investment in critical transmission and distribution infrastructure and one of the first down payments on an over $20 billion investment under the Administration’s Building a Better Grid Initiative. These federal investments will unlock billions of dollars of state and private sector capital to build transformative projects that increase the reliability of the power grid and modernize it so that more American communities and businesses have access to affordable, reliable, clean electricity – helping deliver on the President’s goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035.

In addition to a $2.3 billion program that funds grid resilience investments by States and Tribes to reduce impacts due to extreme weather and natural disasters, the BIL provides $10.5 billion across three programs that make up the GRIP program to enhance grid flexibility and improve the resilience of the power system against growing threats of extreme weather and climate change.

The program will deliver projects centered on:
  • Grid Resilience Utility and Industry Grants ($2.5 billion) fund comprehensive transmission and distribution technology solutions that will mitigate multiple hazards across a region or within a community, including wildfires, floods, hurricanes, extreme heat, extreme cold, storms, and any other event that can cause a disruption to the power system. Eligible applicants include electric grid operators, storage operators, generators, transmission owners or operators, distribution providers, and fuel suppliers.
  • Smart Grid Grants ($3 billion) increase the flexibility, efficiency, reliability, and resilience of the electric power system, with particular focus on increasing capacity of the transmission system, preventing faults that may lead to wildfires or other system disturbances, integrating renewable energy at the transmission and distribution levels, and facilitating the integration of increasing numbers of electric vehicles, buildings using electricity to heat and hot water, and other grid-edge devices. The program is open to domestic entities including institutions of higher education, for-profit entities, non-profit entities, state and local government entities, and tribal nations.
  • Grid Innovation Program ($5 billion) provides financial assistance to one or multiple states, Tribes, local governments, and public utility commissions to collaborate with electric grid owners and operators to deploy projects that use innovative approaches to transmission, storage, and distribution infrastructure to enhance grid resilience and reliability.
The first round of funding for GRIP is $3.8 billion for fiscal years 2022 and 2023. Concept papers for the Grid Resilience Utility and Industry Grants and Smart Grid Grants are due December 16. Concept papers for the Grid Innovation Program are due January 13. A public webinar was held on November 29 to provide additional information, and the slide deck from the presentation is available here.
U.S. DOE Announces Funding for Clean Energy Improvements to Lower Energy Costs for K-12 Schools
U.S. DOE recently announced first-of-its-kind investments to make clean energy improvements at K-12 public schools. Funds will position school districts to make upgrades that will lower facilities’ energy costs and foster healthier learning environments for students. Schools can now apply for the first round of the Renew America's Schools grant, up to $80 million of the $500 million program, to make energy improvements in the highest-need districts across the country. Eligible uses of funding include energy efficiency upgrades (envelope, HVAC, lighting, controls, etc.), ventilation, renewable energy, alternative fuel vehicles, and alternative fuel vehicle infrastructure improvements. Concept papers are due January 26, 2023, and full applications will be due April 21, 2023. Click here to register for a webinar that will be held on December 6 at 12:00 PM Central that will cover information on the application timeline, deliverables, and more. Click here to begin the application process.

The Energy Champions Leading the Advancement of Sustainable Schools Prize (Energy CLASS Prize) program is also accepting applications for up to 25 local education agencies to receive $100,000 to staff and train select administration and facilities personnel as energy managers. Applications are due February 28, 2023 at 4:00 PM Central. Click here to register for a webinar that will be held on December 7 at 12:00 PM Central that will cover information on the application timeline, deliverables, and more.
Fact Sheet: How the Inflation Reduction Act Delivers Affordable Clean Energy for Tennessee
The Inflation Reduction Act is the most significant legislation in U.S. history focused on tackling the climate crisis and strengthening American energy security. It will lower energy costs for households and businesses, create manufacturing jobs for American workers, and deliver a clean, secure, and healthy future for future generations. The savings, jobs, and other benefits provided by this legislation will reach communities across Tennessee. Click here to view the full fact sheet and learn more.
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