TVA EnergyRight Launches Virtual Home Energy Audits
TVA EnergyRight, in partnership with CLEAResult, has launched a virtual home energy evaluation program that enables residents across TVA’s service territory to pursue energy savings during the COVID-19 outbreak. The program allows customers to use their smart devices to interact with energy professionals through an app and associated augmented reality technology. These energy evaluations can help customers save money and energy by identifying areas where energy loss may occur in their homes. This virtual program makes evaluations possible while promoting safe social distancing practices.
The virtual home energy evaluations are open to qualifying residential customers—including homeowners, landlords, and tenants—within TVA’s service area. Customers should contact their local power company to schedule their virtual home energy evaluation or visit the EnergyRight site to learn more. 
Tennessee Small Businesses Receive Funding for Energy Research and Development
U.S. DOE recently announced that it will fund several new research and development projects under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funding programs. The funding announcement included two Tennessee small businesses, which will receive support for the following projects:
  • Chattanooga-based Coulometrics will receive $1,100,000 in SBIR funding for the development of a stabilized, solid electrolyte interphase layer for Si-containing lithium ion battery anodes.
  • Knoxville-based Carbon Rivers, LLC will receive $1,100,000 in STTR funding for the development of an innovative process to convert waste from retired wind turbine blades into new materials for manufacturing, including for fuel efficient vehicles.
Both businesses received grants for principal research and development efforts based on technical feasibility demonstrated in earlier SBIR/STTR funding rounds. Click here for more information on the SBIR and STTR funding programs. Click here for information on all award recipients.
TVA’s Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant Recognized for Innovation
TVA’s Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant has earned the Top Innovative Practice Award from the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) for its “extended power uprate” project, in which TVA and partners designed, fabricated, and installed new replacement steam dryers on three Browns Ferry generation units to allow for increased steam flow to correlate with higher energy output. Following the upgrades, the three modified Browns Ferry units can generate a combined total of up to 465 megawatts of added electricity, enough to power an additional 280,000 new homes. This brings the plant’s total capacity to more than 3,800 megawatts, which is enough to power more than 2 million average American homes with carbon-free energy. TVA’s power supply is now nearly 60% carbon-free, in large part due to the power provider’s use of nuclear power generation. Click here to learn more.
U.S. DOE Releases Energy Storage Grand Challenge Roadmap, Seeks Stakeholder Input
This month, U.S. DOE released the Energy Storage Grand Challenge (ESGC) Draft Roadmap as well as a Request for Information (RFI) seeking stakeholder input. The Draft Roadmap outlines a Department-wide strategy to accelerate innovation of energy storage technologies through each of the ESGC’s five tracks:
  1. The Technology Development Track will focus U.S. DOE’s ongoing and future energy storage research and development pertaining to user-centric goals and long-term leadership.
  2. The Manufacturing and Supply Chain Track will develop technologies, approaches, and strategies for U.S. manufacturing that support and strengthen U.S. leadership in innovation and continued at-scale manufacturing.
  3. The Technology Transition Track will work to transition U.S. DOE’s research and development to domestic markets through field validation, demonstration projects, public private partnerships, bankable business model development, and the dissemination of high quality market data.
  4. The Policy and Valuation Track will provide data, tools, and analysis to support policy decisions and maximize the value of energy storage.
  5. The Workforce Development Track will educate a workforce that can research, develop, design, manufacture, and operate energy storage systems.
U.S. DOE is requesting information from stakeholders to inform the suite of activities proposed in the Draft Roadmap through a formal RFI. Responses to this RFI must be submitted to no later than August 31. Click here to see the Draft Roadmap. Click here to view the full RFI.
UT, ORNL Researchers Develop Materials to Reduce Industrial Emissions
Researchers at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and ORNL are advancing gas membrane materials to expand practical technology options for reducing industrial carbon emissions. Published results demonstrate a fabrication method for membrane materials that can overcome current bottlenecks in selectivity and permeability, key variables that drive carbon-capturing environments. Click here to learn more.
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.

Energy Exchange 2020 Virtual Event
U.S. DOE and the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) will hold a modified Energy Exchange 2020 conference as a one-time virtual training from August 10-14. The training will focus on collaboration and innovation for federal agencies to leverage technologies and practices that offer efficient, resilient, and secure energy and water management solutions. The event will include the delivery of over 40 training sessions in six tracks, allowing resource planners and managers to earn CEUs, find technically validated solutions, and engage with agency leadership and the private sector. The event will also include a virtual Technology Pavilion and Trade Show that will include demonstrations of National Laboratory and private sector exhibitors across the energy and water sectors. Click here to register.
2020 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings Virtual Conference
The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) is hosting its virtual 2020 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings from August 17-21. This year’s theme, “Efficiency: The Core of a Clean Energy Future,” seeks to recognize the rapidly evolving ecosystem of the energy industry as well as the underlying importance of efficiency. Whatever the surrounding goals for expansion of clean energy systems and services, the ability to design and operate efficient buildings is an essential foundational requirement.
The virtual conference will feature panels focused on residential and commercial buildings, resilient and sustainable communities, smart buildings and smart grids, energy efficiency policy, and energy efficiency and equity. 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.
Renewable Natural Gas Workshop in Nashville
RNG WORKS, hosted by the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas, is a two-day technical workshop and trade expo for the North American Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) industry. The annual event, which will be held at the Music City Center in Nashville from September 30-October 1, is designed to educate feedstock owners (landfill, wastewater, livestock, agriculture, food processing, etc.); RNG project developers, operators, financiers, and engineers; and RNG end-users (fleets, municipalities, utilities, etc.) about RNG best practices and resources for increased development, deployment, and utilization of RNG across the region. Learn more about the conference at, including how the conference will operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to register.
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.
Braiding Energy and Health Funding for In-Home Programs
By weaving together resources from the health and energy sectors, programs can access increased funding opportunities, expand services, and reach more households. Such an integrated approach can yield environmental, economic, and health benefits, particularly for vulnerable communities. A new paper from ACEEE identifies six sources of health-related federal funding that could be used to support residential energy efficiency programs; offers examples of how each funding source has been used; and provides details about how to apply for and use said funding. These six sources of funding represent $2 billion that could be harnessed to provide weatherization and/or complementary services to households in need.
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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