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Archive for East Tennessee News
TVA CEO Tom Kilgore announced Thursday that he will retire, and the agency’s board will hire an executive search firm to find his successor.
That firm will presumably consider outside candidates, but here’s a look at the top executives who are already on the agency’s roster.
The following executives are all direct reports to Kilgore, according to TVA spokesman Travis Brickey.
– Kim Greene, executive vice president and chief generation officer (pictured).
Greene’s portfolio includes coal operations, gas operations, generation construction, and power supply & fuels.
A native of Knoxville, she previously served as the agency’s CFO and came to TVA in 2007 from Southern Company. Greene (pictured) earned a bachelor’s in engineering science and mechanics from UT, a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and an MBA from Samford University.
– Joe Hoagland, senior vice president of policy and oversight.
Hoagland’s portfolio includes communications, compliance and policy governance, security and emergency management, and dam safety governance.
He previously served as vice president of the office of the CEO, and has been a TVA employee since 1993. Hoagland earned a bachelor’s in chemistry from Southern Utah University and master’s and doctorate degrees in physical chemistry from Washington State University.
– Rob Manning, executive vice president and chief energy delivery officer
Manning’s portfolio encompasses all aspects of TVA’s power transmission systems, customer relations and economic development.
He previously served as executive vice president of system operations and came to TVA in 2008 from Duke Energy.
Manning earned a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University and an MBA from Queens College in Charlotte, N.C.
Latest NREL Report Suggests that Tennessee Has a Solar PV Potential of 20 Times the Amount of Electricity Used in the State
In a government report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory demonstrates the tremendous potential for solar energy generation in Tennessee. The report estimates the technical potential of solar PV as well as other renewable power sources for the production of electrical power. It is a study of the potential based on renewable resource availability and quality, technical system performance, topographic limitations, environmental, and land-use constraints only. The study does not consider the economic, political or market constraints. In 2010, Tennessee used 103,522 GWh (103,522,000,000 kWh). The report estimates that the total solar potential including rural and urban utility-scale PV as well as roof-top solar would amount to 2,295,918 GWh.
by M. Woodward
What if you could find a deal in which your county schools could rent roof space and get l.5 to 2 million dollars worth of solar panels installed on top of 3 of your schools for free? And, the schools would get paid $14,000 per year for the roof rentals? Would you go for a deal like that?
According to William Shedden, Director of Maintenance for Hawkins County Schools, this is exactly the deal that came their way and you bet they went for it. It took long hours of work from the superintendent’s office, members of the school board, administrators, teachers, parents, and private investors for the project to succeed.
The project is complete. Bulls Gap School, Church Hill Intermediate School, and Clinch School are now topped with solar panels valued at approximately 1.5 to 2 million dollars at no cost to the school system thanks to a Morristown company’s financing scheme.
Hawkins County Schools was able to take advantage of the old Green Partner’s program sponsored by the Tennessee Valley Authority by renting their roof space for the installation of solar panels at the three schools.
Director of Maintenance Bill Shedden says, “The money came from a third party investor. Hannah Solar installed the equipment. So all of this that you see is no money out of the school system’s pocket, whatsoever.
The way the financing works, is a company arranges a deal with a bank, or it could be a for-profit company that needs tax credits to reduce their income tax. The for-profit company provides the up-front financing for the solar system and hires a firm to install the solar panels. The tax credits and depreciation reduce the business taxes and the company making the arrangements, called the third party, gets the income from the sale of the solar power to TVA. The school system does not get a lower energy bill, but does get the rental income. After a set period, the third-party owner will offer to sell the system to the school system at a significantly reduced price. This is a great deal all around.
Currently there are 833 solar panels on top of Church Hill Intermediate School and every day these panels produce enough energy to power 3 or 4 average size households. At that rate the TVA will pay Hawkins County Schools 14 thousand dollars a year and this is a ten year agreement that includes that Hawkins County Schools will pay nothing to install the current and future panels.
But Hawkins County doesn’t want to stop there. They have plans to add solar panels to the roofs of 10-13 other schools in the county.
They have plans to set up a website for the students and for members of the community to use that will show exactly how much energy is produced everyday by the solar panels. They are also asking for everyone to ‘think outside the box” and come forth with creative ideas to help with the continuation of this project.
Stephen Levy, technical director for the Tennessee Solar Energy Association, says that he and recent UT business graduate, Stefan Partin, and Solar Association founder, Jim Hackworth, visited Hawkins County to view the installation of the solar panels and were “blown away with the beauty and resourcefulness”.
“This is what we want to replicate in all school systems across America,” he said. “There is nothing to stop solar energy from becoming the source for energy in our future. We are pleased, very pleased,” he said.
DeBord Family Partnership plans to install an 11.73 kW solar PV project on the rooftop of the 144 West Main Street building in Historic Downtown Morristown. The project will use aesthetic and innovative solar technology that can be installed within the design requirements of the local Historic Zoning Commission and will add to the historic building’s complete renovation.
Randy DeBord, owner of DeBord Family Partnership, stated, “This will be my second solar energy project in the historical Morristown district, proving solar can be cost effectively incorporated into a historical district. We are excited about this project because of the success of our first solar project. We are providing clean energy and lowering our utility bills while preserving the aesthetics of our beautiful downtown architecture.” In addition he stated, “We have partnered with ARiES Energy, a leading energy contractor, to deliver this turnkey, clean, and renewable energy solution.
The New Jersey State Assembly has passed a bill that would increase the state’s solar energy requirements under its renewable portfolio standard (RPS) program, as well as allow additional facilities to qualify for virtual net metering.
The State Senate passed an earlier version of the bill last month by a vote of 23-8, and a modified version cleared the State Assembly Monday by a vote of 68-4.
Under the bill, utilities would be required to obtain 2.05% of their electricity sales from solar by 2014 – a mandate that would be ramped up on a tiered basis to 4.10% by 2028.
New Jersey’s current RPS requires that each utility obtain 22.5% of its power from renewables by 2021, and features a tiered solar carve-out of 306 GWh beginning in 2011 and increasing to 5,316 GWh by 2026.
“We’re hoping that it will create an environment for more long-term contracts at SREC price levels that will allow projects to get financed,” Naik, co-owner and principal at Old Bridge, N.J.-based solar integrator GeoGenix, explains. “Today, with high electricity [prices] in New Jersey (10.97¢ – 11.90¢) and the current cost of the technology and systems, our model shows that you need $250 SRECs (Solar Renewable Energy Credit) in a 10-year long-term contract to make financial sense for a 500 kW commercial system.”
According to the Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association, there are more than 10,000 New Jerseyans working in the solar industry.
The legislation also would make public projects (i.e., solar installations on municipal buildings, schools, etc.) eligible for virtual net metering, which would allow them to use solar credits to pay for the power used by non-connected buildings under their jurisdiction.
The bill now awaits the approval of Gov. Chris Christie (R), who is expected to sign the legislation into law.
Bringing the cost of installed solar down to $1 per watt entails many challenges, many of which aren’t technical. EnergySage is building a solar PV price quote comparison platform. The founders come out of the financial services world, and think that customers should look at solar as an asset class, similar to stocks and bonds. “Our belief is clean energy will only become pervasive if it impacts the bottom line of the consumer and not just the environment,” said Vikram Aggarwal, CEO of EnergySage.
Solar Mosaic, received up to $2 million to lower the cost of solar financing and customer acquisition through a crowd-funding platform. Solar Mosaic’s platform currently allows people to invest in solar for community organizations. When there is enough funding, panels are put up and the community building pays Solar Mosaic a lower rate than they would pay a utility.
Clean Power Finance also received up to $1.5 million to reduce the cost of customer acquisition through its online platform and also to reduce the operations and maintenance and financing costs through its online marketplace. CFP essentially connects the capital market with the solar market, and has already financed more than $1 million dollars a day of residential power purchase agreements and leases.
TSEA is working on an article on the Hawkins Schools that rented their roofs for solar production. The company chosen installed 300,000 watts of solar panels on three schools with no cost to the school system. In fact, the school system will be collecting $14,000 per year for the roof rental. The program hinges on TVA Green Partners program. Without it, this could not have happened.
Advanced Materials Training and Education Center (AMTEC) is seeking a solar instructor to teach a week long course on the fundamentals of solar power and its installation. The dates for the training would be based on the job placements requirements and availability of new students. The location of the training will be on the Oak Ridge Campus at the Halcyon Center. The candidate should be NABCEP certified or have an equivalent education. Preferably, the individual will have some teaching experience and can sign a contract with AMTEC as an adjunct professor. The date of the training has not been scheduled as yet. Please contact Michael L. Copeland, Assistant Director of AMTEC for further information and to submit your letter of interest.
Michael L. Copeland
Roane State Community College
Assistant Director of Advanced Materials Training and Education Center
Halcyon Commercialization Center
2020 Second Street, Suite 102
Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830
Lectrus recently announced 30 new job openings at its Chattanooga Operation to increase production of custom metal electrical enclosures and equipment skids. The company installs utility-scale inverters and associated power distribution equipment on robust steel bases and delivers the electrically integrated packages to grid-tied solar farms around North America. Lectrus is hiring full-time electricians, welders, painters and quality inspectors to start immediately.
“Over the past year, we have increased headcount by 25%”, stated Jim Pugh, HR Manager. “Our business continues to grow and we are seeking skilled employees who desire a rewarding environment and a bright future”. In its search for quality individuals, Lectrus participated in the city’s job fair on May 10 and will attend the Mayor’s Council on Disability job fair on June 6. Candidates are also encouraged to apply through the company’s website at lectrus.com.
Solar power is a viable energy source for the nation, and its use is rapidly growing in the U.S. as federal incentives—similar to those that helped other energy markets to develop—are put in place. “This report looks at solar in relation to other energy sources and finds that solar is on the path to becoming a mainstream source of energy for our nation,” said Matt Murray, director of the Baker Center. “In addition, the report pulls together data showing the solar industry’s great potential for the US economy—not only in the diversification of our energy supply, but also through job creation and global business opportunities.”
Murray said being involved with the production of this report is in line with the Baker Center’s focus on energy and environmental policy. The Baker Center is also administering the $700,000 SunShot Solar Initiative, a project looking at the regulatory challenges and non-technological barriers to solar adoption. Read the full report on the Baker Center website (pdf).