EPA Releases Framework for Implementation of Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund
The EPA released new details about the design of the $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), a first-of-its-kind, national-scale competitive grant program created by the Inflation Reduction Act. The program will leverage public investment with private capital and will finance clean energy projects that reduce pollution and energy costs, increase energy security, and create jobs. The GGRF implementation framework follows the initial guidance EPA released earlier this year. It outlines a clear vision for the three grant competitions EPA will administer under the GGRF program, and includes preliminary descriptions of key parameters, application requirements, and reporting obligations.
6K Energy Announces Manufacturing Plant in Jackson
6K Energy announced its plans to launch a full-scale battery material manufacturing plant in Jackson, creating 230 new jobs. The producer of cathode active materials will invest $166 million in the plant for construction and equipment, which is expected to expand to a total of $250 million in future phases. The company will also use its recently announced $50 million U.S. DOE grant opportunity for the factory, making the initial combined investment over $200 million. 6K Energy’s factory will be the world’s first plasma cathode plant of its kind, providing low-cost, sustainable battery material production for localized supply chains in the U.S.
New Episode of Energizing Tennessee Podcast
Energizing Tennessee, a podcast by the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council, released the final episode of season one. In Episode 12: Why Tennessee?, host Courtney Piper speaks with Heath Hones, Managing Director of Hitachi Zosen Inova’s North American operations, about why advanced and clean energy companies are expanding within and relocating to Tennessee.
Climate Action Plan Adopted by Chattanooga City Council
The Chattanooga City Council has formally adopted Mayor Tim Kelly’s Climate Action Plan. The Plan details a growth strategy that will protect Chattanoogans’ quality of life and increase national competitiveness amid changes to the climate and international economy. The Plan includes a series of actions to drive smart, clean-energy growth, protect natural resources, and strengthen the local economy. It contains six goals and 104 strategies, including actions that fall into four main categories: transportation, buildings and waste, green spaces and waterways, and jobs and opportunity. Read more about these focus areas here, and watch a video explaining the Plan here.
U.S. DOE Renews Partnership with the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation in Knoxville
The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), headquartered in Knoxville, announced it will receive a funding renewal from U.S. DOE. IACMI will receive federal funding across five fiscal years, with a first-year investment of $6 million to further technological research and development and accelerate commercialization in the domestic composites manufacturing sector. This funding builds upon initial institute funding of $70 million from U.S. DOE and over $130 million from IACMI’s member partners. The funding will be applied to the continued research and development of advanced composites technologies that support U.S. decarbonization and will strengthen IACMI’S three strategic pillars: technology, economy, and workforce development.
Vanderbilt I Solar Farm in Bedford County “Flips the Switch”
Nashville-based Silicon Ranch Corporation joined Vanderbilt University, Nashville Electric Service, and TVA on April 11 to “flip the switch” on the Vanderbilt I Solar Farm, a 35-megawatt solar facility in Bedford County. First announced in 2020, the Vanderbilt I Solar Farm is the result of a landmark agreement as the first project contracted under TVA’s Green Invest program, which matches demand for green power from diverse commercial, industrial, and institutional customers with new utility-scale solar projects located in the Tennessee Valley.
The solar facility represents a significant step by Vanderbilt toward the ambitious goal it announced in 2019 to power its campus entirely through renewable energy and become carbon neutral by 2050. The renewable generation from the Vanderbilt I Solar Farm will offset approximately 70% of Vanderbilt University’s annual Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions, providing enough power to help serve more than 6,000 homes for one year. The Solar Farm, combined with a collaboration with the nonprofit organization Climate Vault, will allow the university to achieve carbon neutrality decades ahead of its initial goal of the year 2050.
Nuclear Fuel Services in Erwin Awarded Over $428 Million by U.S. DOE
U.S. DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) awarded $428,050,945 for a Phase II contract with Nuclear Fuel Services in Erwin. The Phase II contract establishes capabilities for the initial production and up to two years of full production for the purification and conversion of highly enriched uranium and very highly enriched uranium (HEU). NNSA is modernizing facilities, equipment, and processes used at the Y-12 National Security Complex to recycle and recover HEU.
ENERGY STAR Honors Partners in Tennessee
EPA Region 4 and U.S. DOE honored two ENERGY STAR partners in Tennessee for their outstanding leadership in promoting energy efficiency and tackling climate change. Nissan North America, Inc. in Franklin is recognized for utilizing ENERGY STAR tools and resources to reduce its North American manufacturing energy intensity by 1% despite lower production levels caused by supply chain disruptions. Additionally, TVA EnergyRight in Knoxville is recognized for upgrading more than 4,000 homes through its low-income Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program, which covers the cost of upgrades for families burdened with high energy bills.
Clean Energy to Communities (C2C) Program: In-Depth Partnership
Clean Energy to Communities In-Depth Partnerships is a multi-year U.S. DOE program to help communities develop roadmaps to achieve their clean energy goals. These partnerships offer community-based teams funding from $500,000 to $3 million and the chance to work alongside U.S. National Laboratory staff as they apply modeling and analysis tools adapted to their community's unique conditions.
Communities selected for in-depth partnerships will have access to the following:
- A dedicated point of contact within the national lab system
- Direct grant funding to support hiring staff or consultants
- Facilitation and community engagement support
- Extensive technical support from the DOE national laboratory complex
C2C program in-depth technical partnerships will focus on cross-sectoral issues related to renewable energy, mobility, and buildings. Energy security, resilience, and disaster preparedness—as well as energy equity and environmental justice—will be considered too. Applications are due May 17.
Energizing Rural Communities Prize
U.S. DOE’s Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas (ERA) program aims to improve the resilience, reliability, and affordability of energy systems in communities across the country with 10,000 or fewer people. Under the ERA program, U.S. DOE is offering $15 million through the American-Made Energizing Rural Communities Prize. This prize challenges individuals and organizations to develop partnership plans or innovative financing strategies to help rural or remote communities improve their energy systems and advance clean energy demonstration projects.
Applicants can apply to either the finance or partnership track. Up to 90 awardees will be awarded $100,000 in Phase One. Applications are due May 24. Sign up for one-on-one office hours with the Clean Energy Business Network to answer questions about the prize and get feedback on a proposed application here.
Operation and Planning Tools for Inverter-Based Resource Management and Availability for Future Power Systems (OPTIMA) Funding Available
U.S. DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) announced the Operation and Planning Tools for Inverter-based Resource Management and Availability for Future Power Systems (OPTIMA) funding opportunity, which will award $30 million in funding for projects that address emerging challenges and opportunities for grid planning arising from the power system’s transition to variable renewable energy sources and inverter-based power electronic grid interfaces.
Projects will develop new state-of-the-art planning and operations tools to enable solar energy to be more optimally and reliably integrated and utilized within the electric power grid, providing Americans with more affordable and secure clean energy sources. Some projects will focus on grid planning and the challenges grid planners face in accounting for variable renewable energy sources in their future studies; others will focus on grid operations and the challenges operators face in short-term scheduling and real-time operation of renewable resources.
Register here for an informational webinar hosted by SETO on May 4 at 3:00 PM Eastern to discuss the funding program and the areas of focus. Concept papers are due June 5, and full applications are due August 15.
Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant Competitive Program
U.S. DOE announced funding for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Competitive Program. The EECBG Competitive Program will award $8.8 million in funding to cities, counties, towns, municipalities, and state-recognized tribes or teams of these communities, that are not eligible for the EECBG Program Formula grant.
EECBG Competitive Program recipients can use the funding for a variety of projects that lower energy costs, create clean energy jobs, improve energy efficiency, and reduce overall energy use. U.S. DOE will prioritize projects resulting in significant energy efficiency improvements and meaningful impacts on local economies. Example projects include investments in distributed energy technologies, cross-municipal weatherization-based workforce development programs, or the establishment of financial incentive programs for energy efficiency improvements. Applicants are encouraged to apply in teams to maximize the impact of program funding.
Click here to join the U.S. DOE webinar with information about the grant structure, design, and application process on May 15 at 2:00 PM Eastern.
Concept papers are due June 5, and full applications are due August 7.
High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Prize
U.S. DOE’s Office of Electricity launched its new American-Made HVDC Prize. HVDC is a key technology that can increase the electric grid’s capacity to receive, transmit, and deliver a large amount of energy and can be more efficient compared to today’s existing solutions.
The $200,000 HVDC Prize invites innovators to develop new power and energy system solutions to improve grid integration of renewables and long-distance electricity transmission to population centers. Applications are due June 7.
Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)
REAP provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to improve energy efficiency. Through funding from the Inflation Reduction Act, REAP has increased its grant size to $500,000 for energy efficiency projects and $1 million for renewable energy systems. The current application window closes June 30. Additional information about the program and frequently asked questions can be found here.
TVA Connected Communities Pilot Projects Funding Opportunity
TVA announced $2 million in new funding for Connected Communities pilot projects to improve the quality of life and equity for communities in its service area through innovative community-driven solutions. This pilot project funding is intended to help communities gain expertise and test approaches to jump-start their progress toward improving access to digital services, creating a healthy natural and built environment, scaling economic opportunities, and better preparing for natural disasters and cyber threats.
For this funding opportunity, TVA is seeking projects demonstrating an emerging technology or a new intervention approach to connect communities to resources that will directly and measurably have a positive outcome in two or more of the following areas:
- Equitable access to services such as broadband and digital literacy,
- Equitable access to innovative, sustainable, connected technologies,
- Energy burden or energy poverty,
- Access to quality Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education,
- Environmental health, including indoor environmental health/justice,
- Enhanced resiliency for vulnerable populations, or
Access to better employment, career, or entrepreneurial opportunities.
Prior pilot projects addressed these topics through activities such as monitoring indoor environmental health, offering coding training programs, installing broadband hotspots, providing digital literacy education, installing solar and battery storage, and offering educational resources. You can learn more about current pilot projects on the TVA Connected Communities website and in the 2022 Pilots Annual Report at this link.
The call for pilots is open through June 30, with project selection announcements expected in late September. TVA is interested in providing awards of up to a maximum of $750K per project and anticipates awarding approximately four to eight projects. All projects must take place within the TVA service territory and be completed within two years of project kickoff. For more information and to access the application form when the Call for Pilots opens, visit tva.com/ConnectedCommunities or contact ConnectedCommunities@tva.gov.
Tennessee Environmental Network Show of the South
The Tennessee Environmental Network Show of the South (TENSOS) will be held May 10-12 at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Over the three-day event, TENSOS will host an elite group of environmental professionals seeking to exchange knowledge and share ideas about environmental concerns in Tennessee and across the Southeast region. TDEC Commissioner David Salyers will open the event on May 10 and participate in a Data Quality and Scientific Integrity session.
Breakout sessions will cover a wide range of environmental topics and will include TDEC OEP Director Molly Cripps and Deputy Director of Programs Alexa Voytek, who will speak on transportation electrification across multiple use cases and applications. Additional energy-focused breakout sessions will discuss advancements in nuclear energy, opportunities for energy storage, the economic case for hydrogen, and a discussion of propane in transportation.
The conference schedule is available online, and interested attendees can register here.
Enhanced Geothermal Shot Summit
U.S. DOE is hosting the Enhanced Geothermal ShotSummit virtually on May 11. The virtual summit will convene federal, state, private sector, science, labor, and environmental justice representatives to discuss how achieving the Enhanced Geothermal Shot goal to dramatically reduce the cost of enhanced geothermal systems by 90% by 2035 will help the U.S. benefit from geothermal energy. Register here to join the discussion about the future of enhanced geothermal systems.
U.S. DOE has created the Energy Savings Hub to help American consumers in the market for clean energy or energy-efficient products, home upgrades, and vehicles keep track of the tax credits and upcoming rebate programs. Information can be found for homeowners, renters, and drivers. DOE plans to expand the site based on consumer feedback and to later include an income verification tool, as well as expand to a second hub that can service businesses and communities.
EPA Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks
EPA has released a new Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks that tracks U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and sinks by source, economic sector, and greenhouse gas going back to 1990. The annual report provides a comprehensive accounting of total greenhouse gas emissions for all man-made sources in the U.S., including carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere by “sinks” (e.g., through the uptake of carbon and storage in forests, vegetation, and soils) from the management of lands in their current use or as lands are converted to other uses. The gases covered by the Inventory include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride, and nitrogen trifluoride.
For more information or to submit an idea for a future Monthly Energy Edition, contact:
Audrey Jackson, Communications Officer
TDEC Office of Energy Programs
615-917-6683 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexa Voytek, Deputy Director, OEP Programs
U.S. DOE State Energy Program / Innovation & Transportation / Communications
TDEC Office of Energy Programs
615-613-1096 or email@example.com
Mark Finlay, Senior Energy Analyst, TDEC Office of Energy Programs
615-772-6011 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Acknowledgement: This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) under the State Energy Program Award Number DE-EE0009487
Disclaimer: This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.
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