TVA and Facebook Enter Into Another Green Invest Deal to Develop Solar Power and Battery Storage
Under a recently announced Green Invest agreement with Facebook, TVA will partner with Origis Energy to develop a 150 MW solar power system, in addition to a 50 MW battery storage facility, to support Facebook’s two Tennessee Valley data centers. Facebook is committed to supporting its operations with 100% renewable energy starting in 2020; to do this, in August, Facebook signed a Green Invest agreement for a 70 MW solar facility that will be built in Madison County, Tennessee. In total since 2018, Facebook has announced purchases of 597 MW of power generated by multiple solar farms linked into the TVA electric grid in Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi. This recent news represents just a part of TVA’s expanding renewable energy portfolio, as the power provider has increased its contracted solar capacity by 60% since October 2020. Click here to view the full press release.
Earth Day 2021
Next month will feature the 22nd anniversary of Earth Day, a global celebration to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Several events will be held across Tennessee to recognize Earth Day 2021, including the following:
Other local events can be found on
TNECD Announces Funding for Rural Broadband Accessibility
Earlier this month, Governor Bill Lee and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) Commissioner Bob Rolfe announced $14.9 million in broadband accessibility grants to 13 recipients that will expand service to support 17,800 Tennesseans in 7,120 homes and businesses. In his recent State of the State address, Governor Lee proposed an investment of $200 million to achieve a goal of every Tennessean having access to high-speed broadband. This proposal, combined with significant private sector investment, will help improve educational outcomes, expand access to health care, increase e-commerce, and support small businesses in rural communities across the state.

As Chattanooga EPB has realized through their smart fiber deployment, a strong broadband network is essential for tightly coordinated load shedding activities, the split-second responsiveness required in distribution automation, and the ability to provide virtual, real-time energy management tools for customers. Expanding broadband networks in Tennessee may enable local power company systems to be intelligent, interactive, and self-healing – helping them to reduce customer outages more quickly, provide customers with the at-home tools and resources that will allow them to manage their energy use, increase power quality, and much more.

Since 2018, TNECD has awarded nearly $60 million in grants through the Broadband Accessibility Grant Program to serve more than 33,000 homes and businesses, and over 83,000 Tennesseans. Projects under this fourth round of funding will entail a combined investment of $36 million across the state, and infrastructure will be built out over the next two years. Click here to view the full press release.
Save the Date: Energy Efficiency Day is October 6
Each year, organizations and citizens across the country endorse energy efficiency’s benefits and participate in online energy efficiency challenges and promotions in celebration of Energy Efficiency Day (EE Day). Cities, counties, and states issued official proclamations to recognize EE Day last year, as did the U.S. Senate. EE Day 2021 (#EEDay2021) will return on October 6, and event organizers have already updated the EE Day website with new energy efficiency campaigns and materials. As fall approaches, EE Day organizers ask that interested parties sign up as 2021 supporters. These supporters will receive both updates from EE Day organizers as well as energy efficiency facts and materials to share on social media. Find more EE Day resources at
Upcoming Advanced Energy Webinars
The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) will host 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. The virtual events are set to take place on the following dates:
  • West Tennessee – April 13 at 10:00 AM Central (register here)
  • Middle Tennessee – June 9 at 10:00 AM Central (registration available soon)
  • East Tennessee – October 13 at 10:00 AM Central (registration available soon)
U.S. DOE Announces Funding for Manufacturing Innovation to Build a Clean, Resilient Electric Grid
U.S. DOE has issued Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA) for up to $24.5 million to support improvements in domestic manufacturing and to build resilient, modern electricity infrastructure that addresses the current climate emergency. The two funding opportunities will back research and development for the materials and technologies needed to expand the grid with new, clean-energy sources, deliver affordable electricity to disadvantaged communities, and help reach the Biden Administration’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions in the U.S. by 2050.
The “Flow Battery Systems Manufacturing” funding opportunity will award up to $20 million for research and development projects focused on flow battery systems, which use electrochemical batteries that externally store electrolytes to save on costs, improve safety, and ensure flexibility and adaptation. Concept papers for this FOA are due April 29 and full applications are due June 30. Click here to view the full FOA. Click here to apply.
The second funding opportunity, “Conductivity-enhanced materials for Affordable, Breakthrough Leapfrog Electric applications (CABLE)” Conductor Manufacturing Prize, will support the commercialization of affordable, manufacturable materials that conduct electricity more efficiently than today’s best conductors. CABLE is a three-stage, three-year prize that will award up to $4.5 million in cash and vouchers to competitors who can identify and verify new materials and methods to achieve significant enhancements in conductivity. Submissions are due June 8. See the Prize’s page here to apply.
2021 Better Buildings, Better Plants Virtual Summit
The 2021 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit will be held as a virtual leadership symposium from May 17-20. Through the virtual summit, Better Buildings partners will have the opportunity to share best practices and new ideas for maintaining building operations, addressing workforce challenges, and continuing to improve energy security and resilience. The Summit will feature a series of webinars and peer exchanges as well as networking calls for the education, healthcare, local government, commercial, industrial, multifamily housing, and workforce development sectors. The Summit will also include a fireside chat with U.S. DOE national laboratories on trends and emerging technologies in the building energy space. Finally, the Summit will feature a collaborative workshop highlighting tools and resources on planning for energy resilience as well as sessions on community solar for multifamily buildings and energy efficiency barriers. View the full Summit schedule here. To sign up for individual sessions, meet-ups, and workshops, register here.
Energy Efficiency Finance Forum
The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) will hold its 13th Annual Energy Efficiency Finance Forum in a virtual format from May 25-26. This event will explore the role that financing can play in cutting-edge initiatives and will highlight major opportunities to finance projects that save energy, reduce costs, and create jobs. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with leaders in finance, government, the utility sector, and from energy service companies to learn about successful projects and innovative models. Click here to register.
The Future of Electric Power in the United States
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have released a new report that provides comprehensive recommendations for improving the U.S. electric power system so that it can adequately provide electricity to the nation in a safe, reliable, clean, resilient, and equitable way. The report emphasizes the need for identifying critical social, technical, and economic driving forces for grid improvement and decarbonization; reformation of the lengthy electrical transmission planning and siting process; formation of an independent federal entity responsible for leading investigations on blackouts to enhance future reliability; and a substantial increase in federal funding for research, development, and demonstration of production, delivery, and use of electric power. The report includes a wide-ranging set of recommendations for federal agencies looking to enhance the electric grid in the future. Click here to access the full report.
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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