Archive for East Tennessee News

TVA Holds Meeting Open to Comments on Their Integrated Resource Plan

April 6 is scheduled for a webinar and public meeting at the TVA Knoxville Tower which usually starts at 7 am and typically lasts for an hour and a half. During that time the public is encouraged to provide comments on the draft Integrated Resource Plan and associated draft Environmental Impact Statement. To prepare for providing comment, TVA has made downloads of both plans available for public inspection.
TVA seal

The purpose of the IRP is to determine how TVA can best meet the Tennessee Valley’s demand for electricity over the next 20 years and fulfill its mission of low cost reliable power, environmental stewardship, and economic development.

The draft IRP and EIS are available for review on the IRP website at http://www.tva.com/environment/reports/irp/. TVA will hold a series of public meetings beginning on March 19 to discuss the draft IRP and EIS, to answer questions, and to receive comments on the drafts. Details on the public meetings are posted project webpage.

Comments on the draft IRP and EIS must be submitted no later than April 27, 2015. Comments may be submitted online, at the public meetings, by mail to the address below, or by email to IRP@tva.gov. Please note that any comments received, including names and addresses, will become part of the project administrative record and will be available for public inspection. TVA will consider all comments in preparing the final IRP and EIS.

TVA to rely more on natural gas and renewable energy

Nashville, Tennessee- The country’s largest public utility will begin to rely more on natural gas and renewable energy in the future.

Monday- The Tennessee Valley Authority released their resource plan for the next 20 years. This plan is a road map for how utility will respond in good or bad economic times or during periods of more environmental regulation.

TVA officials see the agency relying much more on natural gas and renewable energy, especially solar power. For the first time, TVA officials say that energy efficiency is viewed on the same level as any other forms of power.

Environmental groups responded hailing it as an important first step but that the company hasn’t gone far enough. They criticized the draft plan for not having enough development of wind power and called it a “missed opportunity” to help TVA customers save energy, lower electricity bills and foster a clean energy economy. Environmental groups have asked the public to attend the series of public meetings that TVA will hold.

TVA now serves 9 million people in parts of Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Read the article here.

LightWave Solar Opens Knoxville Office

Steve Johnson.Steve Johnson opens a Knoxville office extending his solar installation business eastward. Jon Bates will be the resident here in Knoxville representing LightWave Solar. For the present, Jon is operating the business from his home in Lenoir City. It has an office in Johnson City and has done a number of solar installations in East Tennessee. It is now working with Restoration Services and Vis Solis developing a 1 megawatt solar installation at East Tennessee Technology Park in Oak Ridge.

LightWave will be holding its Commercial Solar Lunch and Learn Events with the first event to be held 11:30 a.m. lasting to 1 p.m. Friday, March 20 at BB&T 900 S. Gay St. The event is free and open to the public.

According to Jon Bates, this year TVA have shown a little more interest and willingness to work with us and give a little more capacity.

LightWave joins a number of solar installers headquartered in East Tennessee including Aries Energy, Efficient Energy of Tennessee, Green Earth Solar, Restoration Services and FLS Energy — East TN Division; there may be others that are not listed by the city of Knoxville.

Our friends at SolarCity are looking for new PV Designers!!

Our friends over at SolarCity are looking for individuals interested in a career as a PV Designer! They will be hiring now until March 18th! Individuals with an engineering degree or previous experience are great but not mandatory. What’s more important is that you’re a quick learner, motivated, and good problem solvers! If this sounds like it would be of interest to you get in contact with us or contact SolarCity for more information. Be sure to act quickly!

Energy program can aid farmers, small businesses

In Tennessee, solar panels are not as common as silos on farms, but recently they have been becoming more and more popular across the Volunteer State.

Tennessee farmers are beginning to take advantage of a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant program promoting renewable energy and energy-efficient projects.

It’s smart for farmers and owners of small businesses to invest and participate in the programs to reduce energy costs and potentially make a few extra dollars selling excess power.

The program USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program, or REAP, is providing grants and loans for renewable energy and energy projects to small businesses in rural areas with a population of 50,000 or less. It is growing in Tennessee, with more than $2 million available for projects state wide just this year, compared to $326,000 last year.

Monroe, Knox, and Loudon counties have been home to two-thirds of the projects in East Tennessee for 2006 to 2014.

The Tennessee Valley Authority’s Green Power Provider program, which pays a premium for energy generated by renewable sources has worked hand in hand with the REAP program in the past few years. Unfortunately, TVA is erasing its green power incentives as more money becomes available through REAP for investment in solar and other renewable projects.

Read the article here.