New “Energizing Tennessee” Podcast from the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council 

Energizing Tennessee, a new podcast from the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) and FirstBank, explores the latest news and insights about the advanced energy sector with experts sharing their thoughts on transportation electrification, workforce development, and the growing sector of advanced energy in Tennessee’s economy. In the first episode, “What’s the deal with advanced energy in Tennessee?” listeners are introduced to TAEBC and how advanced energy offers economic opportunity for the state with guest Steve Seifried, President of the TAEBC Board of Directors and Tennessee Account Executive at Ameresco. Episode two, “How can we electrify Tennessee? Getting over 200,000 EVs on Valley roads by 2028,” highlights TVA and TDEC’s partnership to develop a statewide EV fast-charging network to power the growth of EVs across the state and reduce barriers to transportation electrification and features an interview with guest Joe Hoagland, TVA Vice President of Innovation and Research.  
All episodes are available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and wherever you get your podcasts. Click here to listen.

U.S. DOE Launches New Initiative to Cut Industrial Heating Emissions by 85% 

U.S. DOE announced the launch of Industrial Heat Shot, an effort to reduce the cost, energy use, and carbon emissions associated with the heat used to make everything from food to cement and steel. The latest U.S. DOE Energy Earthshots Initiative seeks to develop cost-competitive solutions for industrial heat with at least 85% lower greenhouse gas emissions by 2035.
The Energy Earthshots Initiative was created to drive innovation breakthroughs to reach net-zero carbon goals and create clean energy jobs. Five other Earthshots preceded Industrial Heat Shot:
  • Hydrogen Shot - designed to accelerate innovations and spur the demand for clean hydrogen by reducing the cost by 80%.
  • Long Duration Storage Shot - aims to achieve a low-cost storage method for electricity generated by clean power by reducing the cost of grid-scale energy storage by 90% for systems that deliver 10+ hours of duration. 
  • Carbon Negative Shot - a call for innovation in technologies and approaches that will remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it at massive scales for less than $100 per metric ton. 
  • Enhanced Geothermal Shot - a department-wide effort to dramatically reduce the cost of enhanced geothermal systems by 90% to $45 per megawatt hour by 2035. 
  • Floating Offshore Wind Shot – aims to drive down costs to $45 per megawatt hour by 2035 to spur U.S. leadership in floating offshore wind technology, accelerate decarbonization, and deliver benefits for coastal communities.
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.

U.S. DOE Announces Prize to Increase Equity and Develop Clean Energy Solutions for Underserved Communities

U.S. DOE announced a new equity-focused prize competition to accelerate decarbonization and support community-driven clean energy solutions. The Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize, a $1.5 million American-Made Challenge, is an award for developing partnerships between organizations within communities to address community-identified energy challenges. This prize seeks to coordinate activities that address local energy challenges and encourages community coalitions made up of nonprofits, city governments, school systems, and other community organizations to come together to develop a strategy that addresses a local clean energy opportunity or inequity. Strategies may include student education, workforce training, or implementation of new technologies that help direct funding to underserved communities.

U.S. DOE Launches SolarAPP+ Prize to Streamline Solar Permitting

U.S. DOE recently launched the SolarAPP+ Prize, a million-dollar prize program designed to accelerate the adoption of SolarAPP+, an online platform that instantly issues permits for code-compliant residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. The U.S. DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office will award prizes of $15,000 to local governments that successfully adopt or pilot SolarAPP+ by April 27, 2023. Local governments that have adopted SolarAPP+ projects are permitted and inspected about two weeks faster than average, saving time for employees and getting more solar energy online faster. 
To apply, interested Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs), including counties, cities, and incorporated towns and villages, must submit an application with a letter of support to demonstrate their intent to adopt SolarAPP+, the impact it would have on their solar permitting process, and their need for the product and the SolarAPP+ Prize by November 4 at 3:00 PM ET. Eligible competitors are expected to be announced in late November and will have five months to submit proof of SolarAPP+ adoption for the opportunity on or before April 27, 2023, to win cash prizes. Click here to learn more. 

Opportunities in Energy Event

To showcase some of this year’s innovations and developments, the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council is hosting the annual Opportunities in Energy event at The Square Room in downtown Knoxville on November 16, from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. ET. 
The event will include several panels on topics ranging from battery partnerships to corporate sustainability. During the event, the 2022 winner of the Thomas B. Ballard Advanced Energy Leadership Award, which honors exemplary leadership and success in championing, connecting, and strengthening Tennessee’s advanced energy economy, will be announced. Applications for the award open on September 30.
Additional information and tickets are available here.

U.S. DOE Solar Funding Opportunities

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.

New Inflation Reduction Act Website and Updated Homeowner’s Guide to Federal Tax Credit for Solar PV

The White House created a website on the Inflation Reduction Act where consumers can find out more information on key provisions, including tax credits and rebates. Sign up here for updates as more programs come online.
Additionally, U.S. DOE has updated the Homeowner’s Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar PV to reflect changes from the Inflation Reduction Act. The Act expands the federal tax credit for solar energy, also known as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), to 30% of the solar energy system’s value through 2033. Learn more here

NREL Study Identifies the Opportunities and Challenges of Achieving 100% Clean Electricity by 2035 in the U.S.

A new report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), done in partnership with the U.S. DOE, examines the types of clean energy technologies and the scale and pace of deployment needed to achieve 100% clean electricity, or a net-zero power grid, in the United States by 2035. The study is an initial exploration and helps to advance understanding of both the opportunities and challenges of achieving the ambitious goal. Overall, NREL finds multiple pathways to 100% clean electricity by 2035 that would produce significant benefits. Still, the exact technology mix and costs will be determined by research and development, manufacturing, and infrastructure investment decisions over the next decade.

Find Rebates on Commercial Building Equipment 

ENERGY STAR recently hosted a webinar on rebates for commercial building equipment. Searches can begin at with the ENERGY STAR’s Rebate Finder tool, which catalogues rebates for ENERGY STAR certified products that meet EPA’s specifications for energy efficiency. Products include appliances, commercial food service equipment, office equipment, and much more. For commercial products that are not eligible for ENERGY STAR certification, you can use ENERGY STAR’s new Utility Genius Rebate Finder. Product examples that you can find on Utility Genuis include commercial HVAC equipment, lighting, building automation, and more.

Watch the ENERGY STAR Commercial Building Equipment Rebates webinar recording to learn more and see live demos of each tool or register for a second webinar on October 27 at 1:00 PM ET

Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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