TVA Invests in Memphis Home Weatherization
In 2018, the City of Memphis Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) secured funding from the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA’s) Home Uplift Program to weatherize 90 homes in the area. TVA recently announced that it will provide an additional $1 million to benefit more than 100 families still on the Memphis WAP waitlist. Home assessments and upgrades will begin in January and will run through the summer of 2019. Upgrades may include HVAC repair and/or replacement, insulation, air penetration reduction, window and door replacements/repairs, and minor health and safety repairs that may be necessary to enable energy upgrades. TVA and partners are looking for local area contractors to support the upgrades. Contractors interested in participating should call (888) 986-7262. Click here to learn more.
Utilities Expand Solar in the Southeast
Several utilities have announced plans to significantly expand solar in select locations across the Southeast. In Florida, NextEra Energy Resource’s Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL) will add enough solar to have a total of 11,000 megawatts on the grid by 2030. Once these panels come onboard, 40% of FPL’s total electricity generation will come from emissions-free sources—half from solar, and half from nuclear.
In Alabama and Tennessee, NextEra, Invenergy LLC, and TVA have partnered to build two utility-scale solar systems in TVA’s service territory. NextEra is building one solar farm in Hollywood, a town in the northeast corner of Alabama. Chicago-based Invenergy is building a solar farm in Yum Yum, Tennessee, an unincorporated community in Fayette County. Google has agreed to buy the systems’ 300 megawatts of power to operate two nearby data centers. Google has also stated that it will purchase power from other oncoming solar farms as a part of its deal with TVA, eventually totaling a purchase of 413 megawatts of power generated by 1.6 million solar panels (equivalent to the combined size of 65,000 home rooftop solar systems). Click here to learn more.
Four Energy Education Opportunities for TN Students and Teachers
1) Student Innovators Wanted for new JUMP into STEM Challenge
Jointly hosted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), JUMP into STEM is an online community that motivates students to engage in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field research and innovation. JUMP into STEM recently opened a competition for undergraduate and graduate students who are studying architecture, engineering, computer science, or other buildings-related disciplines. The current competition, “Pushing the Envelope,” challenges participants to design a wall retrofit solution for a single-family home, updating the residence to conform to the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Winning stuTVA dents and/or teams from each competition will participate in a Grand Finale event at NREL in Golden, Colorado this spring, contending for as many as six, 10-week paid internships at ORNL or NREL in the summer of 2019. Applications are due on Friday, February 8, 2019.
2) Tennessee State Parks Conservancy Offering Field Trip Grants for K-8 Students
K-8 teachers can apply for a 2019 field trip grant to visit one of 56 Tennessee State Parks locations. Funding covers transportation, lunches/snacks, and related project supplies. Grants are competitive and not all applications will be funded. To apply, submit an application to or send to “Tennessee State Parks Conservancy, Attn: Field Trip Fund, P.O. Box 190640, Nashville, TN 37219” by February 15, 2019.
3) ARC/ORNL Summer Science Academy Accepting Student Applications
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has partnered with ORNL to host the 2019 Summer STEM Program, a hands-on learning experience for high school and middle school students, as well as high school teachers in STEM-related fields. Many participants come from economically distressed counties and often gain their first exposure to applied science and STEM education through this experience. Participants receive an all-expenses-paid learning residence at ORNL. Selected students will conduct guided group science, math, and computer technology research projects. Selected teachers will work with science practitioners to develop STEM-related curriculum. All Tennessee applications must be submitted in a fillable PDF format, not printed and scanned, and emailed to and by March 12, 2019Click here to learn more.
4) OEP Accepting Applications for K-12 Energy Education Camps and Workshops Across TN
TDEC OEP plans to conduct three Energy Education Camps for K-12 Educators in 2019. 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. 2019 Camps will be hosted at the following dates/locations:
  • June 18-20: Cumberland Mountain State Park
  • June 25-27: Roan Mountain State Park
  • July 17-19: Natchez Trace State Park
Energy Education Camps are offered free of charge. All participating educators will receive $200 in materials to teach energy education topics in the classroom or at afterschool programs. Educators will also receive a certificate of participation for professional development hours. Click here to access the 2019 Energy Education Camps application. Applications are due by April 5, 2019. For questions about the Camps program or OEP’s other K-12 Energy Education activities, please contact Angela McGee at or 615-532-7816.
U.S. DOE Launches Initiatives to Promote Battery Recycling
Currently, lithium-ion batteries are collected and recycled at a rate of less than 5% across the United States. To address this issue, U.S. DOE recently announced that it would launch a Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize as well as establish an associated Battery Recycling R&D Center. These efforts aim to reclaim and recycle critical materials (e.g., cobalt and lithium) from lithium-based battery technology used in consumer electronics, defense, energy storage, and transportation applications. The prize will encourage American entrepreneurs to find innovative solutions to collecting, storing, and transporting discarded lithium-ion batteries for eventual recycling, awarding a total of $5.5 million to contestants through three progressive, competitive phases. U.S. DOE will also invest $15 million to develop the Center, focused on emerging technologies that profitably capture and recycle lithium based battery technologies across the country. More information on both of these initiatives will be available soon. 
U.S. DOE Seeks Information on Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings
U.S. DOE Building Technologies Office (BTO) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to solicit feedback on building technologies that have significant, demonstrated potential as cost-effective solutions for changes in grid conditions and demand-side management. The RFI seeks input on four major categories:
  1. Building Technology R&D and Integration Needs for Increased Load Flexibility.
  2. Controls and Communication to Enhance Building-to-Grid Interactions
  3. Building Energy Modeling for Load Flexibility
  4. The Value of Flexible Building Loads
BTO will use this information to plan a grid-interactive efficient building technologies R&D portfolio. Responses to the RFI are due March 1, 2019.
U.S. DOE Seeks Industry Partners for High Performance Computing Program
The High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) Program seeks qualified industry partners to participate in short-term, collaborative projects using high performance computing (HPC) facilities at U.S. DOE’s national laboratories. The program aims to assist in the development of energy and transportation technologies and strategies that improve energy efficiency, increase productivity, enable next-generation technologies, investigate intensified processes, lower energy costs, and accelerate innovation. Eligibility for this program is limited to either entities that manufacture or develop products in the U.S. for commercial applications or the organizations that support them. Selected demonstration projects will be awarded up to $300,000 to support compute cycles and work performed by the national lab partners. The industry partner must provide a participant contribution of at least 20%. Details on specific focus areas and other program information can be found on the HPC4EI solicitation webpage. Applications must be submitted by March 4, 2019 at 11:59 pm ET.
ITEAM Prize Rewards Innovators in Manufacturing Energy Efficiency
U.S. DOE recently announced its Individuals Taking Energy Action in Manufacturing (ITEAM) Prize, a competition to identify and celebrate individual employees whose ideas and practices led to significant, measurable energy savings in U.S. manufacturing facilities. Up to five winners in each category of small, medium, and large manufacturers will be selected to receive a cash prize of $5,000. In addition to the cash prize, the winners will be recognized at the annual Better Buildings Summit and will have their winning ideas and practices highlighted on the Better Buildings Solutions Center website. Applications must be submitted by May 15, 2019 at 11:59 PM ET. Self-nominations are welcome. For questions about the prize competition, contact Click here to apply.
FEMP to Offer New ESPC ESA Webinar Series
The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) is launching a four-part webinar series entitled, “Energy Savings Performance Contract Energy Sales Agreements (ESPC ESAs): A New Way of Financing On-Site Renewable Energy.” Starting in March 2019, a live webinar will occur quarterly to address various topics on financing and implementation of on-site renewable energy projects. Each webinar will include project implementation best practices, resources, and Q&A opportunities. The webinar topics and dates can be found below:
  • Overview and Requirements – Tuesday, March 12, 2019 from 2:00–3:30 PM EST (register here)
  • Photovoltaic Project Considerations – April or May 2019
  • Site-Specific Stand-Alone Project Overview – July 2019
  • ENABLE with an ESA - October 2019
TAEBC Annual Meeting
The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) is a champion of Tennessee’s advanced energy economy. TAEBC recently sent out a Save the Date for its upcoming annual meeting, to take place at the Nashville Hub of Schneider Electric (6700 Tower Circle #700, Franklin, TN 37067) on February 12, 2019. Speakers from Schneider Electric, TVA, White Harvest Energy, and TDEC OEP will present on a variety of advanced energy topics, including sustainable energy, transportation electrification, combined heat and power, and more. Click here to register and view the event agenda.
Register for ACEEE's 2019 Hot Water Forum in Nashville
Registration is now open for the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE’s) 2019 Hot Water Forum, to be held March 11-13, 2019 in Nashville. Attendees will network with their peers and gain insight from experts on the latest technologies and techniques for making, distributing, and using hot water. In addition to improving water heating efficiency, these new tools can help stakeholders respond to the evolving energy landscape, which includes smart connected equipment, renewable energy, and carbon reduction. Other event highlights include:
  • A pre-conference tour of the A.O. Smith world class manufacturing facility in Ashland City; 
  • A special reception to meet and network with local plumbers and installers;
  • Breakout sessions on cutting-edge water heating technologies, safe and efficient plumbing design, innovative utility programs, and strategic carbon reduction strategies; and
  • A plenary panel discussion on water heating successes and challenges in the South. 
Suggested attendees include equipment and component manufacturers; water, gas, and electric utilities; local, State, and federal agency personnel; energy efficiency program planners, operators, and evaluators; plumbers and installers; policymakers; non-government organizations; consultants; and more. Obtain the group hotel rate by reserving a room at the Hilton Nashville Downtown by February 8, 2019. Visit the Hot Water Forum webpage to learn more about the upcoming event. 
Sustainability Leaders Podcast 
Jobs With Impact is an online resource designed to empower sustainability professionals with the information they need to build successful careers. Its Sustainability Leaders podcast showcases weekly conversations with business leaders, innovators, policy makers, and visionaries who have dedicated their careers to the future of the planet. Guests share personal stories of how they built their careers, what advice they have for those who want to make an impact, and what drives them to do the work. Recent episodes highlight leaders from clean energy companies like Carbon Lighthouse as well as from environmental regulatory agencies like the California Air Resources Board. The Sustainability Leaders podcast can be found on iTunes, Google, or Spotify.
2018 TDEC Annual Report
Each year, TDEC releases an Annual Report to account for how its agencies invest their time and resources to generate community benefits for all Tennesseans. The document highlights just some of TDEC’s activities to produce cleaner air and water, better protected natural resources, and enhanced recreational opportunities for all. The recently released 2018 TDEC Annual Report also highlights advances made under the Tennessee Water and Wastewater Energy Efficiency Partnership, which OEP has managed since 2016 under a U.S. DOE State Energy Program Competitive Award. If you would like more information or if you have questions regarding the Annual Report, contact Brooke Barrett at 615-741-8962 or
Annual Energy Outlook 2019
The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released its Annual Energy Outlook 2019 (AEO2019), which provides models of domestic energy markets through 2050. It reports on several cases distinguished by different assumptions about macroeconomic growth, world oil prices, and technological progress. This includes the Reference case, used to compare assumptions and evaluate trends in projected data. Key takeaways from the AEO2019 Reference case include:
  • The United States becomes a net energy exporter in 2020 and remains so through 2050 as a result of large increases in crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas plant liquids (NGPL) production, coupled with slow growth in U.S. energy consumption.
  • Of the fossil fuels, natural gas and NGPLs have the highest production growth, and NGPLs account for almost one-third of cumulative U.S. liquids production through 2050.
  • Natural gas prices remain comparatively low, leading to increased use of this fuel across end-use sectors and increased liquefied natural gas exports.
  • The power sector experiences a notable shift in fuels used to generate electricity, driven in part by historically low natural gas prices. Increased natural gas-fired electricity generation; larger shares of intermittent renewables; and additional retirements of less economic coal and nuclear plants occur through 2050.
  • Increasing energy efficiency across end-use sectors keeps U.S. energy consumption relatively flat, even as the U.S. economy continues to expand.
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
Past Monthly Newsletters: 
powered by emma
Subscribe to our email list.