Archive for September 28, 2012

Tennessee’s first energy-producing neighborhood

Three hundred single-family, energy efficient homes will soon be under construction in Memphis located at the “Wolf River Buffs” on property situated at James Road and Mclean Blvd.. Builders will install solar panels in each home. Those panels will be made at the Sharp Manufacturing Company in Southeast Memphis. The solar panels, along with MLGW’s EcoBuild construction standards means the housing development will be Tennessee’s first energy-producing neighborhood. Thomas Chamberlain, with MLGW’s strategic marketing, says homeowners will realize a savings on their utility bills.
“We see the results in a 30-percent reduction of electrical usage and up to a 50-percent reduction in natural gas usage. We know it works,” Chamberlain says. Steve Lockwood is Executive Director of the Frayser Community Development Corporation. He has watched neighborhoods struggle through rough economic times. “The mortgage crisis has hit Frayser harder than any neighborhood in Tennessee. We’ve had unreasonably high foreclosure rates for ten years running. That has meant a lot of empty houses and it has lowered values in the community,” Lockwood says. The price tag for the new Frayser homes will range from $120,000 to $140,000.
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Nonprofit wants to plant green jobs in Knoxville area

Joshua Outsey, Jessica Session, John Thomason, Jordan Linder and Isaac Dukes of Socially Equal Energy Efficient Development surround a donated apple tree. The nonprofit plans to plant an edible forest outside its location at Morningside Community Center.

Special to the Knoxville News Sentinel by Terry Shaw
“The problem is a lot of local companies have to find contractors outside Knoxville to do the work,” the 22-year-old said.
That’s one of the issues being addressed by the nonprofit Socially Equal Energy Efficient Development, where Davis works as program director.
“It’s our job to make it known and create jobs because there’s a demand for them,” said staffer Joshua Outsey, 26.
The pair cite home weatherization, green building construction, electrical work and maintenance on solar panels and wind farms as fast-growing fields, along with farm-to-fork food production.
With a staff of five and more than 70 volunteers, the three-year-old nonprofit is located at Morningside Community Center, 1617 Dandridge Ave.
It works with community members ages 16-28 in a variety of ways, including mentoring, classes and site trips. One program pays 17-to-21-year-olds $1,200 to participate in a 10-week program to earn a GED and explore job opportunities. It began in July and has 30 students participating.
Dukes said of 22 young people who went through a pre-apprentice program, 17 found jobs or are attending a trade school or college.
“It’s important to be able to see people your own age who are college graduates and making a difference,” said Jessica Session, 23, an Americorps member assigned to the program.

Obama nominates McWherter, three others to TVA board

President Obama has nominated Mike McWherter, the 2010 Democratic nominee for Tennessee governor, to fill one of five current vacancies on the TVA Board of Directors.

Obama also nominated V. Lynn Evans, a Memphis accountant, and Joe H. Ritch, a Huntsville, Ala., attorney, as new members of the board while proposing to give Marilyn A. Brown, a current board member whose term has expired, a new term on the nine-member panel.

The president in February had nominated Peter Mahurin of Bowling Green, Ky., to a TVA board seat, but Mahurin’s nomination has not been confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The four nominations announced Friday in a White House news release are also subject to Senate confirmation.

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Proposed legislation to benefit solar in the USA

Legislation to extend benefits to renewables

U.S. Representatives Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Ted Poe (R-TX) introduced bipartisan legislation in support of an “all of the above” energy approach. The Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act will modify the federal tax code to make it easier and more attractive for private capital to invest in renewable energy.

A master limited partnership (MLP) is a business that is taxed as a partnership but whose shares are traded like stock on a market. Because MLPs have access to capital at a lower cost and a more liquid financial approach, this makes them very attractive to private investment. Currently, only oil, natural gas, coal extraction, and pipeline projects are allowed to qualify for MLPs. This bill would simply amend the federal tax code to allow investment in renewable energy projects in the same way.


Bearden Beer Market to Showcase Their Sustainability Efforts

BBM plans to lower our carbon footprint, educate the community and encourage patrons and partners to follow suit by:

In this workshop ARiES Energy will provide:

  • Installing a Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System!
  • Completing our Lighting Retrofits (90% accomplished, let’s make it 100%!)
  • Purchasing Biomass heating and power generation units! (Conveniently charge electronics in the beer garden without plugging into the grid!)
  • Roof Top Garden for Storm Water Collection (vegetation for reducing run-off & carbon emissions, not for eating!)
  • Rain Barrels to sustain the roof garden
  • Porous Surface to replace blacktop in beer garden  (reduces runoff, increases water quality, & decreases heat

Bearden Beer Market (BBM) is incorporating best building practices into the beer garden to improve energy efficiency and enhance the experience

It is very important to BBM to demonstrate that “greening” is not simply a novelty. It is a best practice and the way of the future! BBM believes those who support these proactive energy efforts should be championed! To do this BBM, has dedicated an entire wall to showcase the support of BBM’s energy efforts and quality building practices. “Wall of Champions” signage opportunities include:

for beer lovers & BBM partners of Knoxville! To accomplish our goals, WE NEED YOUR HELP!


  • “Rookie-of-the-Year” – 1×1 ft space
  • “All-Star” – 2×2 ft space
  • “Hall-of-Famer” – 3×3 ft space

When: October 17, 2012, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Where: Bearden Beer Market (BBM), 4524 Old Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919:

RSVP: Bearden Beer Market – Matt,, (423) 648-0963


ARiES Energy, LLC – Mary Shaffer Gill,