Nashville Mayor Cooper Releases 2022 Sustainability Agenda
Nashville Mayor John Cooper recently announced his 2022 sustainability agenda, which includes a vision of sustainable policies and practices for Metro Nashville in the years to come. The agenda includes a bold pledge to cut Metro Nashville government’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 relative to 2014 levels, plans to conduct a solar feasibility assessment for 600 city-owned sites, and a city-wide effort in partnership with Root Nashville to plant half a million trees by 2050.

The city hopes to begin solar installations as early as next year; funding for the feasibility research was already approved in January 2022. In December 2021, Metro Council approved legislation to invest about 1% of revenue from construction activities into restoring, caring for, and growing Nashville’s tree canopy, an effort that will allow the city to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, reduce effects of heat in the urban core, and manage stormwater runoff.
TVA Unveils Major New Nuclear Program, First Small Modular Reactor
TVA recently announced that it will invest in a major program that will explore the construction of multiple advanced nuclear reactors, starting with a GE-Hitachi BWRX-300 small modular reactor (SMR) at its Clinch River site in Tennessee. Earlier this month, TVA Board members unanimously approved TVA’s “New Nuclear Program,” a broad new initiative that the utility describes as a disciplined, systematic roadmap for TVA’s exploration of advanced nuclear technology, both in terms of various reactor designs being proposed and potential locations where such facilities may be needed in the region to support future energy needs.

TVA’s decarbonization ambitions have driven the new nuclear program, as the utility has a goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The initiative makes TVA, a federal corporate agency and the largest public power utility in the U.S., one of first utilities in the nation to publicly commit to exploring the development of an advanced reactor fleet.

National Community Solar Partnership Accepting Applications
The National Community Solar Partnership is a community of solar stakeholders working to expand access to affordable community solar for every American household by 2025. Partners leverage peer networks and technical assistance resources to set goals and to overcome persistent barriers to expanding community solar access to underserved communities.

National Community Solar Partners receive access to the full benefits of the Partnership, which includes technical assistance, networking opportunities, events tailored to community solar, resource databases, and peer information exchange. U.S. DOE is accepting applications to join the Partnership on a continuous basis. Click here to apply.
Solar Alliance Signs Contract for Solar Project in Tennessee
Solar Alliance Energy Inc. recently announced that it signed a contract with AESSEAL, a specialist in the design and manufacture of mechanical seals and support systems, for a 526 kW roof mount solar system at AESSEAL’s U.S. headquarters in Rockford, TN. Solar Alliance will design, engineer, and install the project, which is scheduled to begin construction in April and is targeted for completion by the end of October 2022. Solar Alliance is working with Boyd CAT, a regional Caterpillar dealer, on this project as it will feature CAT solar panels. This project joins several other large contracts for Solar Alliance, including a separate 526 kW solar system in Tennessee contracted out in late 2021 as well as a contract to build another 500 kW solar system in Kentucky.
Webinar: 2022 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook
The Sustainable Energy in America Factbook—produced annually for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) by Bloomberg NEF—provides valuable year-over-year data and insights on American energy transformation; the progress of the energy efficiency, natural gas, and renewable energy sectors; and long-term trends for the U.S. energy economy. The Factbook is designed to provide an in-depth look at economics, market and investment dynamics, and technology trends for a broad audience, including energy professionals, public policymakers, academia, and the general public. The tenth edition of the Factbook will be released in March, and BCSE will host an accompanying release event on March 4 from 12:00 PM-2:00 PM Eastern. Click here to register.
TVA to Announce Connected Communities Winning Projects
TVA is excited to announce winning projects from its Connected Communities call for pilots. As part of this Connected Communities initiative, TVA and its partners have selected nine pilot projects to address several challenges that Valley residents face, including a lack of both broadband and next-generation career options. TVA hopes that selected pilot projects will demonstrate how such challenges can be met with community-driven information and technology solutions. The selected Connected Communities pilots range from environmental risk monitoring systems to digital literacy training programs and will receive a total of $3 million in grant funding from TVA overall.
To learn more about these winning projects and how they bring together community leaders and local power companies for long-term, sustainable solutions that meet the technology needs of communities across the Tennessee Valley, attend the announcement webinar on March 16 at 11:00 AM Eastern.

TAEBC Annual Meeting
The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) will hold its Annual Member Meeting on Tuesday, March 29 from 11:00 AM-12:30 PM Eastern. The theme of this year’s event is “strategic partnerships,” and the meeting will feature a keynote presentation from Melissa Klembara, acting Deputy Director for Portfolio Strategy in the newly established U.S. DOE Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations. The meeting will also include discussions on TAEBC’s 2021 accomplishments, the Spark Cleantech Accelerator, the Energy Mentor Network, and special announcements related to new strategic partnerships. Click here to register.
Nominations Open for 2022 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards
TDEC is inviting Tennesseans to submit nominations for the 2022 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards, which honor outstanding accomplishments that support the protection and enhancement of Tennessee’s natural resources. Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2022 awards, which include the following categories: Agriculture and Forestry, Building Green, Clean Air, Energy and Renewable Resources, Environmental Education and Outreach, Materials Management, Natural Resources, Water Quality, Sustainable Performance, and Lifetime Achievement.
Any individual, business, organization, educational institution, or agency is eligible for nomination, provided the entity is located in Tennessee and their associated environmental project was completed during the 2021 calendar year. A panel of judges will select award recipients based on criteria including level of project or program completion, innovation, and public education. The deadline for nominations is March 31, and winners will be announced during the summer. Contact Kathy Glapa at (615) 253-8780 or with any questions.
Rural Energy Pilot Program
The Rural Energy Pilot Program (REPP) offers grant assistance to Rural Energy Community Partnerships (RECPs) to develop renewable energy that can meet the nation’s energy needs and combat emissions while prioritizing environmental justice, racial equity, and economic opportunity. REPP partnerships may be comprised of, but are not limited to, non-profit entities, State and local entities, tribal entities, municipalities, and other public bodies. Funding may be used to support community energy planning, capacity building, and technical assistance; community efficiency and weatherization; and installation of community-scale renewable energy technologies and systems. Eligible rural areas include any area that is not:
  • a city or town that has a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants; or
  • the urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to such a city or town, as defined by the U.S. Bureau of the Census using the latest decennial census of the U.S.
Selected projects will receive up to 80% of total eligible costs, not to exceed $2 million for grant terms of three years. Applicants are encouraged to review all application materials found in the REPP Notice of Funding Opportunity. The deadline to submit a Letter of Intent to apply is April 19, and full applications will be due July 18. Click here to review Letter of Intent requirements and other important REPP information. 
Drivers and Environmental Impacts of Energy Transitions in Underserved Communities
Rapid large-scale transformations to low-carbon, renewable, and energy efficient sources and technologies provide challenges and opportunities to improve environmental and public health in ways that also reduce the inequities prevalent in current energy and transportation systems, such as the disproportionate impact of environmental hazards on low-income communities and communities of color. U.S. EPA, as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, is seeking applications proposing community-engaged research that will address the drivers and environmental impacts of energy transitions in underserved communities.
U.S. EPA is looking for applications that address some or all of the following research areas:
  1. Understanding how air quality, the environment, and public health in underserved communities might be improved through the transformations of the energy sector;
  2. Identifying approaches or strategies to ensure that energy transitions provide air quality benefits and reduce environmental risks while meeting the energy and transportation needs of underserved communities;
  3. Understanding how socioeconomic, cultural, behavioral, institutional, and systems factors drive individual and household decisions regarding the adoption of renewable energy sources, energy-efficient technologies and building modifications, and new transportation modes in underserved communities;
  4. Understanding how socioeconomic, organizational, and institutional factors affect decisions at the organization, governmental, and community levels regarding the adoption and diffusion of renewable energy sources, energy-efficient technologies, building modifications, and new transportation modes in underserved communities; and
  5. Identifying and evaluating potential multi-pollutant and/or multi-sectoral approaches to achieve climate, air quality, and other environmental goals while maximizing potential positive impacts as well as minimizing potential negative impacts to underserved communities arising from large-scale energy systems transformation.
Eligible entities include public and private non-profit institutions/organizations; public and private institutions of higher education; hospitals located in the U.S. and its territories or possessions; state and local governments; Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments; and U.S. territories or possessions. Full applications are due April 28. Click here for more information on how to apply.
Energy Efficiency Scorecards
Energy Efficiency in the Southeast
Each year, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) compiles efficiency data from nearly 500 electric utilities in the Southeast to present in its annual Energy Efficiency in the Southeast report. The latest report centers on utility efficiency savings from 2020, the most recent year with complete data, taken as a percent of annual electric retail sales. This creates a standard metric to compare performance between utilities and states of different sizes. Data findings are presented with both historical context and the most recent policy trends to give a sense of how efficiency savings performance may develop in the coming years. Click here to access the report. Click here to view a recording of the report release webinar.
ACEEE State Energy Efficiency Scorecard: 2021 Progress Report
The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recently published its State Energy Efficiency Scorecard: 2021 Progress Report. This year’s iteration of the Scorecard does not provide a state ranking and instead serves as a progress report on state energy efficiency policies and programs that save energy while producing environmental and economic benefits. The report uses data vetted by state energy officials to assess states and the nation as a whole in five categories—transportation policies, utility and public benefits programs and policies, equity in state and utility planning and programs, building energy efficiency policies, and appliance standards. Find more information on the State Scorecard at
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
Past Monthly Newsletters: 
powered by emma
Subscribe to our email list.