TVA Joins Southern Utilities in Evaluating the Creation of a Regional Energy Exchange Market
A collaborative of 20 southeastern utilities is exploring the creation of an automated, intra-hour energy market for the region. The Southeast Energy Exchange Market (SEEM) would allow major utilities like TVA, Southern Company, Duke Energy, Progress Energy, and others to create a more transparent and automated method of buying and selling power across the region’s grid, providing real-time power and price information to each of the participating utilities. SEEM could encourage utility investment in solar and other renewable power generation projects as the platform would allow participating utilities to take advantage of intermittent solar generation exactly when the sun is shining and when solar power is at its cheapest. Click here to read more.
Local Power Companies Make Plans to Generate Power in the Tennessee Valley
A growing number of local power companies (LPCs) in the Tennessee Valley are preparing to build their own electricity generation or power storage capacity under new flexible power generation agreements with TVA. These agreements, launched in June of 2020, allow for LPCs to generate between 3-5% of their average power load on their own. Historically, the public power model in the Tennessee Valley has relied upon major base-load power plants and hydroelectric stations built and maintained by TVA. In recent years, smaller and more localized solar power systems, battery storage systems, and other forms of distributed energy resources have proven to be cost-effective power generation methods that LPCs can install and maintain themselves.
Several LPCs are already taking advantage of the new agreements. The Electric Power Board of Chattanooga has allocated $10 million in their annual budget to develop solar farms, battery storage systems, and other energy options that will allow the LPC to decrease its total purchased power from TVA. The Appalachian Electric Cooperative in New Market, TN plans to provide renewable power to schools and businesses seeking to meet carbon reduction goals. Finally, the Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation is exploring the addition of affordable solar installations to help meet a portion of its electricity demand and to keep rates low for its customers. Click here to read more.
NES and Metro Nashville Government Enter into Green Invest Agreement with TVA
On July 22, the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County adopted a resolution to approve the Green Invest Agreement between TVA, the Nashville Electric Service, and Metro Nashville Government for the purchase of renewable energy. This agreement will assist Metro Nashville Government in meeting the requirements laid out in its renewable energy portfolio standards, which require it to utilize 35% tier-one renewable energy sources by 2025 and 100% tier-one renewable energy sources by 2041. Tier-one renewable resources include solar, wind, methane from landfills or wastewater treatment plants, geothermal, ocean, fuel cells producing electricity from a tier-one renewable resource, and raw or treated wastewater used as a heat source or sink for a heating or cooling system.
TVA’s Green Invest solution, which is now available to LPCs as well as to business and industry customers across TVA’s service territory, leverages long-term agreements and competitive bidding processes to build new, large-scale renewable energy installations in the Tennessee Valley. The new agreement for Metro Nashville Government is just one in a series of Green Invest Agreements that have been signed to date (Knoxville Utilities Board, Vanderbilt University, and Silicon Ranch entered into similar agreements with TVA earlier this year). Click here to view the Metro Nashville Government resolution and agreement.
ORNL Receives Funding to Advance Solutions for Gas Distribution Pipeline Rehabilitation
U.S. DOE recently announced $33 million in funding for 10 projects as part of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s (ARPA-E) Rapid Encapsulation of Pipelines Avoiding Intensive Replacement (REPAIR) program. ARPA-E REPAIR teams will develop natural gas transmission pipeline retrofitting technologies to rehabilitate existing cast iron and bare steel pipes by creating new, robust pipes inside the old, existing ones.

ORNL will receive $5 million for its Structural Materials-aided Advanced Renewal Technology (SMART REPAIR) project, wherein the national lab will develop a cost-effective and efficient structural coating deposition system as well as tools to inspect and rehabilitate gas distribution pipelines. This project builds on ORNL’s success and experience in developing low-cost carbon fibers, composites, smart polymer materials, and other non-destructive evaluation methods. Click here for a full list of REPAIR project descriptions.
U.S. DOE Announces Funding to Advance Perovskite Solar PV Technologies
U.S. DOE recently issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to provide $20 million in funding for projects that will advance research, development, and performance validation for perovskite photovoltaics (PV). Funded projects will help U.S. solar manufacturing by improving the efficiency, reliability, and durability of perovskite PV materials and reducing the costs of associated materials and processes. The FOA details three topic areas of interest:
  • Topic Area 1: Device R&D (Efficiency and Stability)
  • Topic Area 2: Manufacturing R&D
  • Topic Area 3: Validation and Bankability Center
U.S. DOE anticipates awarding 6-10 projects under this FOA, ranging from approximately $500,000 to $10 million each. Concept papers are due September 23; the deadline for full applications is December 1. Click here to view the full FOA.
U.S. DOE Office of Science Financial Assistance Program
U.S. DOE’s Office of Science Financial Assistance Program supports the delivery of scientific discoveries and major scientific tools to advance the energy, economic, and national security of the U.S. The agency is currently accepting grant applications for the following program areas through its Fiscal Year 2020 Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA):
  • Advanced Scientific Computing Research
  • Basic Energy Sciences
  • Biological and Environmental Research
  • Fusion Energy Sciences
  • High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Physics
Applicants are not limited to specific sectors or entity-types; awards have historically ranged from $5,000 to $5 million for periods of six months to five years. Potential applicants are encouraged to submit a pre-application through the U.S. DOE’s Portfolio Analysis and Management System. Full applications are due September 30. Click here to view the FOA.
ORNL to Collaborate on Energy Efficient Building Technologies
ORNL has issued a Notice of Opportunity (NOO) that provides small businesses and other industry partners with more affordable access to ORNL’s Building Technologies Research and Integration Center (BTRIC), where they can undertake collaborative, short-term research projects that accelerate the development of new energy-efficient building technologies. The opportunity gives selected participants access to ORNL’s experienced staff, equipment, and research capabilities when developing new products and research within the building energy market.
Under this NOO, ORNL has reduced the required cost share of BTRIC projects from 50% to 20% for 2020, accommodating businesses who may struggle to participate in such a program under present adverse economic conditions. Proposed projects should contribute to U.S. DOE’s goal of a 30% reduction in U.S. building energy intensity by 2030, relative to a 2010 baseline. As part of the technology collaborations conducted under this announcement, applicants must describe the potential energy savings and novel, non-energy impacts that may be realized by the targeted project.
Technology areas of interest include HVAC, water heating, and appliances; windows and building envelope; solid-state lighting; building energy modeling; sensors and controls; grid-interactive efficient buildings; residential building integration; and commercial building integration. Click here to view the full NOO. More information about the ORNL BTRIC can be found at
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federally-funded grant program that aims to assist low-income households, primarily those who pay a high proportion of household income on home energy, in meeting their immediate energy needs. In Tennessee, LIHEAP is administered through a network of 19 local agencies that reach all 95 counties.

Applicants must come from eligible households with income at or below 150% of U.S. Poverty Guidelines. Applications, along with all necessary verifications, must be submitted through the designated LIHEAP agency in the applicant's county of residence. LIHEAP is a one-time assistance offered to help defray heating and cooling expenses, as long as funding is available. LIHEAP assistance does not go directly to the client or applicant; rather direct payments are made through the LIHEAP agency to the local utility company or energy supplier.

For more information or further assistance with the application process, please contact your local LIHEAP agency. Click here for a list of agencies and counties they serve. Click here to learn more about LIHEAP in Tennessee.

2020 Industry Forum on Energy Efficiency
The Energy Efficiency Alliance will host the 2020 Industry Forum on Energy Efficiency as a virtual event series from September 10 to October 2. The forum will include accredited virtual events that showcase energy efficiency opportunities in healthcare, food services, and higher education. Experts will engage with audience members and provide macro views of energy efficiency in each industry as well as concrete steps to achieving major energy savings. Click here to view the agenda at-a-glance. Click here to register. 
Energy Entrepreneurship Demo Day 2020 Virtual Event
U.S. DOE’s National Laboratories will host a virtual Demo Day on September 15 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM Eastern, focusing on private-public partnerships that have led to technology innovation and proliferation. Teams from several Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Programs—including Chain Reaction Innovations at Argonne National Laboratory, Innovation Crossroads at ORNL, and Cyclotron Road at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory—will showcase their technologies and emerging companies to potential investors and the energy community. For an invitation to the event or to be added to the email list, contact To learn more about the Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Programs, click here.
2020-2021 Better Buildings Webinar Series
U.S. DOE Better Buildings recently announced the schedule for its 2020-2021 Webinar Series, which will begin September 15 and run through April 6, 2021. This series will address some of the most pressing topics facing building energy professionals, with experts leading conversations on proven best practices, cost effectiveness strategies, and innovative ways to approach sustainability and energy performance.
The first webinar in the series, titled “Building Resilient Communities: State and Local Perspectives,” will take place on September 15 from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM Eastern and will address how different communities can use energy efficiency and renewable energy as resilience measures for mitigating the impacts of natural disasters. The webinar will also showcase tools, partnerships, and strategies that can make such energy resilience projects a reality.
The second webinar, titled “Innovative Energy Efficiency Financing in Public Housing,” will take place on September 22 from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM Eastern and will address strategies for surmounting financial barriers that can prevent Public Housing Authorities from pursuing comprehensive energy and water efficiency retrofits.
Click here for the full webinar schedule.
2020 Tennessee Valley Solar Conference + Storage
The Tennessee Solar Energy Industries Association (TenneSEIA) will host the Tennessee Valley Solar Conference + Storage in a virtual format on October 7 from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM Central. The purpose of the conference is to bring together solar and energy storage advocates and adopters to discuss strategies, market trends, and policies that impact the Tennessee Valley solar + storage industry. Speakers will include TVA staff and executives as well as leaders from Tennessee local power companies such as the Knoxville Utility Board, the Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Cooperation, and the Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative; speakers will discuss solar successes and how to take advantage of low-cost solar energy and storage. TenneSEIA partners and members may receive a conference registration discount.
Following the virtual conference, TenneSEIA will host a monthly series of hour-long webinars that will continue to explore solar + storage topics, including opportunities for public-private partnership, TVA’s new Green Connect residential renewable power program, and law and financing challenges and considerations in the Tennessee Valley. Visit to learn more. Click here to register.
Case Study: TVA’s 50001 Ready Magnolia Plant
U.S. DOE Better Buildings recently released a case study on how TVA improved efficiency at its Magnolia plant in Benton County, MS through collaboration with U.S. DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office, the Federal Energy Management Program, and Tennessee Tech University’s Industrial Assessment Center. TVA’s EnergyRight Internal Energy Management Program guided the plant through steps outlined by the 50001 Ready Program to identify and implement energy efficiency solutions without compromising energy reliability, safety, or environmental performance. As a result, the Magnolia plant has been able to save approximately 18 GWh of energy and nearly $1.2 million in operations bills since May 2018—all with zero capital investment. Click here to read the case study.
National Standard Practice Manual for Benefit-Cost Analysis of Distributed Energy Resources
The National Energy Screening Project has released its National Standard Practice Manual for Benefit-Cost Analysis of Distributed Energy Resources (NSPM for DERs). The manual serves as an objective, technology-neutral guidance document for regulators, utilities, consumer advocates, DER proponents, state energy offices, and other stakeholders interested in comprehensively assessing the impacts of DER investments.
Benefit cost analyses involve a systematic approach to assessing the cost-effectiveness of investments by consistently comparing the benefits and costs of DER types with each other as well as with alternative energy resources. DER types covered in the NSPM include energy efficiency, demand response, distributed generation, distributed storage, electric vehicles, and increased electrification of buildings, including heating and cooling systems. Click here to view the manual.
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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