TVA Launches School Uplift Program
TVA announced an investment of $7.3 million in a new School Uplift program, which over the next three years will train school personnel to reduce their schools’ energy use and reduce utility costs. The State’s Energy Efficient Schools Initiative (EESI) will partner with TVA on the launch and has provided an additional $600,000 in matching funds. Since 2008, EESI has provided over $102.5 million for projects that improve energy efficiency in Tennessee’s K-12 schools, saving its recipients more than $43 million in energy costs to date.

Eleven schools recently completed the School Uplift pilot and have averaged nearly 20% annual savings on energy bills through behavior changes alone. Bledsoe County High School in Pikeville, Van Buren High School in Spencer, and Picket County K-8 in Byrdstown will be the first schools to earn energy upgrade grants worth $400,000, which will provide much needed facility upgrades with a focus on further reducing energy consumption and costs. Additional schools have been awarded TVA-funded grants for solar pavilions.

TVA EnergyRight will be recruiting schools interested in participating in the 2022-2023 program. For more information, visit the School Uplift website here.
Tennessee Entities Partner with U.S. DOE Better Buildings on Low Carbon Pilot Program
The City of Knoxville, Kingsport-based Eastman Chemical, and Schneider Electric (which has operations in Tennessee) will partner with U.S. DOE Better Buildings on its newly announced Low Carbon Pilot, which seeks to demonstrate pathways to achieve low or zero carbon emissions in buildings and manufacturing plants. These sectors account for roughly two-thirds of U.S. carbon emissions and present a significant opportunity to meet carbon reduction goals. In this new two-year program, participants will convene to better understand the correlation between carbon emission reduction, energy efficiency, savings, and resilience; obtain data and experience for future renewable energy initiatives; inform federal research and development investments; and identify technologies and research that can contribute to the mission of reducing carbon emissions from buildings and manufacturing plants. See the Low Carbon Pilot Factsheet for more information. Click here for a full list of program partners.
Facebook and RWE Renewables Partner for New Solar Facility in Shelby County
TVA recently announced a new Green Invest partnership with Facebook and RWE Renewables to construct a 150 MW solar facility near Millington in Shelby County. Facebook will use 110 MW of this new solar capacity to support their data center operations in Gallatin and the broader Tennessee Valley. RWE will develop the $140 million solar farm and, through a long-term power purchase agreement with TVA, will own and operate the plant. The project will generate more than $12 million in property tax revenue and create more than 150 construction jobs. Due in part to its ongoing partnership with TVA, Facebook recently announced that its operations are now supported by 100% renewable energy, including 475 MW of new solar committed through Green Invest Agreements and the purchase of 852 MW of solar power generated by solar farms linked to the TVA grid since 2018.
TVA Sustainable Energy Updates
TVA has released its FY20 Sustainability Report, which provides a comprehensive overview of the utility’s performance in providing reliable, clean energy to create a healthy environment and prosperous economy. The report highlights TVA’s priorities and developments in the areas of grid decarbonization, technological innovation, economic development, environmental stewardship, resiliency, and transportation electrification. The report outlines a number of TVA’s sustainability in energy goals, including lowering consumer energy costs through energy efficiency, adding 10,000 MW of solar energy by 2035 through collaboration with local power companies and participating customers in the Green Invest program, reducing carbon emissions, innovating utility-scale battery storage for renewable energy, prioritizing environmental justice for vulnerable communities, and becoming the nation’s top-performing nuclear fleet by 2025. Click here to access the full report.

As part of its ongoing sustainability efforts, TVA is also preparing to phase out the last of its aging fleet of coal power plants within the next fifteen years. The power provider, which once generated nearly two-thirds of its power through the burning of coal, will turn toward expanding its natural gas, nuclear, and renewable energy portfolios. During a conference with top energy and union leaders, TVA President Jeff Lyash said that, by 2035, TVA anticipates cutting its carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels by 80% below a 2005 baseline. To date, TVA has already cut its carbon output by 63% since 2005, nearly twice the industry average for all U.S. utilities. TVA has shut down 34 of the 59 coal-fired units it once operated; it is preparing to shutter its Bull Run Fossil plant by 2023 and, subject to environmental studies and board approval, is planning to ultimately shut down its Cumberland, Gallatin, Kingston, and Shawnee coal plants by 2035.
TAEBC Advanced Energy Virtual Business Roundtable – Middle Tennessee
The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) has been hosting a series of regional business roundtables throughout 2021 to guide communication and outreach efforts tied to advanced energy; connect businesses with higher education and technical campuses to discuss evolving needs; gather information regarding workforce challenges; and collect feedback on existing and desired energy incentives. Each of these webinars is designed to cultivate an advanced energy economy that attracts and retains investment from innovative businesses.
For the Middle Tennessee roundtable, scheduled for June 9 at 10:00 AM Central, TAEBC has gathered speakers to discuss creation of a statewide electric vehicle charging network as well as the actions TAEBC stakeholders can take to make Tennessee the number one state in the country for the electric vehicle supply chain. TDEC Commissioner David Salyers will present on the department’s electric vehicle activities to date and will be joined by speakers from TVA, LaunchTN, the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association, the Tennessee Board of Regents, and the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. Click here to register.
Urban Runoff 5k
Nashville’s Metro Water Services, the City of Gallatin, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, TDEC, and the Tennessee Stormwater Association have teamed up to host the Urban Runoff 5k run on August 7 at 7:30 AM Central. The run is being held at Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Nature Center in East Nashville and will weave its way past several innovative stormwater management structures. An educational Water Quality Festival will be held concurrently that will provide entertainment and information for attendees. The race will be chip-timed and held in rain or shine. For additional details or to register, click here. Registration for the race is $35, but registrants can use promo code “memorialday” to receive $5 off.
Save the Date: 2021 Tennessee Valley Solar Conference
The Tennessee Solar Energy Industries Association (TenneSEIA) will host the Tennessee Valley Solar Conference on October 13 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton 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.
TDEC to Provide Funding to Tennessee Local Power Companies for Home Uplift
Nashville Electric Service (NES), Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB), Memphis Light, Gas & Water (MLGW), and Chattanooga's Electric Power Board (EPB) have each approved new funding that will help customers in need make energy efficient improvements to their homes. A new grant of $750,000 from TDEC will go towards each local power company’s Home Uplift Programs (totaling $3 million in grants), which is available to limited income homeowners in their respective service areas and is a joint endeavor between the local power companies and TVA. The TDEC contributions go alongside contributions from TVA of $750,000 for NES, $361,000 for KUB, and $825,000 for MLGW and EPB.
Customers who qualify for the program receive valuable energy efficiency upgrades. In addition to saving money on their energy bills, participants also report improvements in the comfort and air quality of their homes. Eligible energy efficiency upgrades include air sealing, duct sealing/replacement, attic insulation, water heater and pipe insulation, wall insulation, HVAC cleaning and tuning, HVAC replacement, window and door replacement, heat pump water heater installation, refrigerator replacement, LED bulbs, and low­flow showerheads. Click here for more information on Home Uplift.
Tennessee Residential Energy Code Field Study
A U.S. DOE Building Energy Codes Program field study was conducted in Tennessee from September 2017 to July 2018 to identify opportunities to reduce utility bills in residential single-family new construction through increased compliance with residential building energy codes. During the field study, research teams visited 138 homes in various stages of construction, gathering substantial observational data and a better understanding of the energy features present in new homes. A new report prepared by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory analyzes the data and indicates that Tennessee’s new homeowners could save over $2.5 million in annual energy costs through increased code compliance. Some of the measures identified as having the greatest potential for energy savings in Tennessee included improvements to exterior walls, insulation, lighting, windows, building envelope tightness, and duct tightness. Click here to learn more about the field study and other similar studies conducted throughout the U.S.
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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