TN Entities Earn 2019 ENERGY STAR® Awards for Sustained Excellence
Last month, three Tennessee entities were recognized by U.S. EPA with the 2019 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award, the highest honor given to organizations that are dedicated to protecting the environment through energy efficient operations:
  • Eastman Chemical, based in Kingsport, was recognized for its leadership in energy management. The company has earned ENERGY STAR certification for three buildings and has participated in the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry at three manufacturing sites. Eastman is actively engaged with other ENERGY STAR industrial partners, providing mentorship to businesses interested in improving their energy efficiency practices. Eastman was also honored by U.S. DOE this month for its partnership in the Better Plants Challenge, through which the company has committed to improving its energy performance across all U.S. operations by 20%.
  • Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville was recognized for its longstanding commitment to the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes program, having built 32 ENERGY STAR certified homes in 2018 alone (the group has built more than 500 certified homes since joining the ENERGY STAR program in 2006). Last Year, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville trained more than 6,000 volunteers on how to correctly install insulation, air seal windows and doors, and implement other ENERGY STAR-recommended building practices. The group also informed numerous homeowners and local codes officials about the value of home energy efficiency and promoted the ENERGY STAR program to other Habitat offices.
  • Franklin-based Nissan North America, Inc. was also recognized for its commitment to energy management. In 2018, Nissan’s Decherd, TN Infiniti Powertrain Plant became the first U.S. powertrain plant to qualify for ENERGY STAR plant certification. Nissan also earned plant certification for its Smyrna Assembly Plant for the thirteenth straight year. In total, Nissan has achieved a 12% reduction in its plants’ energy intensity since 2013.
Crosstown Concourse among Finalists for Global Awards of Excellence
Since 2015, the City of Memphis has utilized more than $12 million in Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs) to support several energy improvement projects under its Green Communities Program. QECBs are low-interest federal bonds that were available for qualified energy efficiency, renewable energy, and energy conservation capital projects. Under Tennessee statute, OEP is tasked with serving as the coordinator and administrator of the State’s QECB program in partnership with the Tennessee Local Development Authority.
One of these projects leveraged QECBs to redevelop the Crosstown Concourse, a 1.5 million square foot former Sears distribution center, into a mixed use vertical urban village. This project was completed in late 2017. Since then, the building has won a 2018 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award for its sustainable design. Crosstown Concourse is also now among the finalists for the Urban Land Institute’s 2019 Global Awards of Excellence competition, an international program that recognizes real estate projects for achieving excellence in design, construction, economics, planning, and management. Learn more here.
BrightRidge Offers Access to its Solar Community
BrightRidge, a local power company in Northeast Tennessee, is offering its customers a chance to join the utility's solar community. The local power company recently brought online a 5-megawatt solar farm in Telford, featuring almost 42,000 solar panels that can produce more than 8 million kWh annually—enough energy to power more than 500 homes each year. The facility, which is owned and operated by Nashville-based Silicon Ranch, allows BrightRidge to offer its customers access to a sustainable and renewable energy source. Jim Bausell, Silicon Ranch’s executive vice president for business development, said that the solar farm is a public/private partnership that represents a “transformative moment for the community” as the first solar farm of its kind in Northeast Tennessee. To learn more, click here.
OEP Supports K-12 Energy Education Across Tennessee
Throughout the month of May, OEP hosted four Energy Education workshops for K-12 students and educators at the following locations:
  • Neely’s Bend Elementary School, Davidson County (Two workshops held)
  • Loudon Elementary School, Loudon County (Workshop held in conjunction with Loudon County’s STEM Quest Camp)
  • Fort Loudon Middle School, Loudon County (Workshop held in conjunction with Loudon County’s STEM Quest Camp)
For these workshops, OEP partnered with the Nashville-based Science Guys program to provide demonstrations on energy-related topics, including sound energy, potential energy, chemical reactions, electric circuitry, and radiant energy. The four workshops were attended by 336 students and educators from participating schools. OEP also provided participating educators with educational materials to use in their classrooms.
On May 14-15, OEP also hosted a K-12 Energy Education booth at the STEM Innovation Summit in Nashville, which was attended by over 400 educators. Learn more about OEP’s K-12 Energy Education programming here.
U.S. DOE Announces Two Funding Opportunities for Energy Projects
1) Energy Efficient, Advanced Building Construction Technologies & Practices
U.S. DOE recently announced up to $33.5 million for early-stage research and development of advanced building construction techniques designed to reduce energy bills. The opportunity addresses three topic areas, including Integrated Building Retrofits (e.g., combined heat and cooling, insulated panels), New Construction Technologies (e.g., off-site manufacturing, robotics, digitization, automation, and advanced modeling), and Advanced Technology Integration (e.g., building best practices, workforce training, service delivery methods). Concept papers are due by June 10 by 5:00 PM ET. Click here to apply.
2) High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation
U.S. DOE announced a $5.2 million funding opportunity under the High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) Initiative. The new funding opportunity seeks qualified industry partners to work collaboratively with U.S. DOE’s national laboratories on projects that use high performance computing to solve key technical challenges, including the development and optimization of modeling and simulation codes; porting and scaling of applications; application of data analytics; and applied research and development of tools or methods. HPC4EI has three funding tracks: Materials, Manufacturing, and Mobility. Selected projects and follow-on projects will be awarded up to $300,000 to support compute cycles and the work performed by national laboratory partners. Applications are due by July 30. Click here to apply
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 that 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 offers one-time assistance 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 power company or energy supplier.
For more information or to receive 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. Applications for LIHEAP 2019 are due by September 30.
TDEC Webinar: Advanced Compressed Air Systems
The TDEC Office of Policy and Sustainable Practices, in collaboration with Best Practices Magazine, will host a webinar on June 19 at 2:00 PM CT to address advanced compressed air systems. Known as the “4th Utility,” compressed air systems provide a powerful and flexible energy source for industrial processes. Attendees will learn about trends in compressed air best practices, including optimization of pneumatics, shut down optimization, and heat recovery. Attendees will also learn about the upcoming 2019 Best Practices Expo, which will be held in Nashville on October 13-16. Click here to register for the webinar.
Urban Runoff 5K Celebrates Green Stormwater Management
Nashville’s Metro Water Services, TDEC, and the Tennessee Stormwater Association have teamed up to host the Urban Runoff 5k run in Nashville on August 3. The run is being held in Shelby Bottoms Greenway and will weave its way past several innovative stormwater management structures. The race will be chip-timed and held in rain or shine. To volunteer for the run, click here. For additional details or to register, click here. Registration for the race will cost $30.
Register for the Tennessee Valley Solar Conference
The Tennessee Solar Energy Industries Association (TenneSEIA) will host the Tennessee Valley Solar Conference on October 16 at the Embassy Suites in Franklin. The purpose of the conference is to bring together solar advocates and adopters to discuss strategies, market trends, and policies that impact the Tennessee Valley solar industry. Visit to learn more. Early bird registration is now available.
EIA Launches State Energy Portal
The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently launched its new State Energy Portal, where users can find data and energy analyses for U.S. states, territories, and other jurisdictions. The portal makes it easy to access, visualize, map, and export data for any state. The portal also allows users to build a personalized, interactive data dashboard and reference pre-populated dashboards by energy source, activity, or topic (e.g., energy storage, energy movement, etc.). Visit the new portal at
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
Past Monthly Newsletters: 
February 2019 
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