Welcome to the Tennessee Energy Education Initiative (TEEI) May 2014 newsletter. We hope you enjoy the latest news, information, and resources to help individuals, businesses and organizations in Tennessee take control of their energy usage.
Environmental Show of the South
TDEC OEP Director Molly Cripps moderated a panel presentation on “New Entrants in Electric Generation in the Tennessee Valley” at the 43rd Environmental Show of the South (ESOS) in Gatlinburg on April 30. The panel was comprised of experts in energy law and federal regulations, and the session was approved for continuing legal education credits. The presentation will be made available on the TDEC ESOS website and TNEnergy.org.
Upcoming National Events
TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo, National Innovation Summit, and National SBIR/STTR Conference
Gaylord National Convention Center in Washington, D.C. will be host to the three concurrent events from June 15-18 featuring the TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo, the National Innovation Summit, and the National SBIR/STTR Conference. TechConnect is the world’s largest multi-sector conference and marketplace of vetted innovations, innovators and technology business developers and funders. The conference and expo cover industry programs ranging from advanced materials and electronics to energy efficiency and advanced manufacturing. In support of the White House and Congressional call for innovation commercialization initiatives, the National Innovation Summit and Showcase delivers the world’s largest showcase of industry-vetted emerging-technologies ready for commercialization. Finally, the Small Business Innovation Research Conference is intended to encourage small businesses to engage with federal agencies in research and development opportunities, with potential for commercialization.
Recent News and Reports
WHEEL continues to move possibilities in residential energy efficiency financing
A new public-private partnership, known as the Warehouse for Energy Efficiency Loans (WHEEL), is opening the market for energy efficiency lending in the residential sector. WHEEL is a collaboration between Citi, the Pennsylvania Treasury Department, Renewable funding, the Energy Programs Consortium, the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), and the U.S. Department of Energy. Unsecured energy efficiency loans are provided to homeowners through a government or utility sponsored program. WHEEL then provides private capital to fund the loans and sponsors provide credit enhancements. After loans are repaid, sponsors can choose to reinvest their returns to support additional loans in their communities. Programs are currently operating in Pennsylvania (Keystone HELP) and Kentucky (Kentucky Home Performance).
U.S. Department of Energy announces $10M funding opportunity to advance zero-emission cargo transport vehicles and technologies
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently issued a funding opportunity announcement of $10M to “demonstrate and deploy innovative alternative transportation technologies for cargo vehicles” in an effort to reduce petroleum use, carbon emissions, oil imports and air pollution. DOE is seeking to collect data on the performance and cost of technologies and to determine their feasibility for commercialization. The opportunity is available to local governments and private companies, and federal funds must be matched with 50% cost share. Applications are due June 11, and the expected date for selection notifications is August 14.
USDA announces competitive funding for Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP) grants and loans
The United States Department of Agriculture has announced funding for grants and/or guaranteed loans to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses make energy efficiency improvements to their facilities, including the purchase and installation of renewable energy systems, with the goal of reducing energy costs and consumption in rural areas and to improve the economic and environmental quality in smaller communities. Eligible applicants must be located in communities of 50,000 or fewer people. Eligible businesses must meet the Small Business Administration’s definition of a small business, and agricultural producers must derive at least 51% of their gross annual income from agricultural activities. Financing and grants, or a combination thereof, are available for projects that range from $5,000 to $25M. Funds will be allocated on competitive basis as applications are received. Applications are due on Monday, July 7 at 4:30PM and can be found online at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/TN-Energy.html.
ACEEE releases New State and Local Policy Database
The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEE) released a new and improved State and Local Policy Database that serves as a repository for state and local policies and programs under several categories: government, utilities, transportation, buildings, combined heat and power, and appliance standards. Users can access information about state and local policies that encourage energy efficiency, and can compare state and city approaches to particular policy areas. The database is available online at: http://database.aceee.org/.
U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program releases “Plug-In Electric Vehicle Readiness Scorecard.”
MTA Adds Seven Electric Buses to Nashville’s Music City Circuit
Metro Nashville’s Transit Authority (MTA) has purchased seven zero-emission electric buses and an electric charging station after successful application for a federal Clean Fuels grant and local matching funds from Metro Government. The buses will be part of the Music City Circuit, a free downtown service line that is designed to help residents and visitors reach points of interests, residences, and places of business in a quicker, more efficient, and environmentally friendly way. More information is available here.
Do you have an idea, event, or news items to share in an upcoming issue? Please contact Luke Gebhard, Senior Program Manager with TDEC’s OEP, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 615-741-2994.
About the Office of Energy Programs
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Office of Energy Programs (OEP) is the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) designated State Energy Office for Tennessee. OEP, which joined the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) in January 2013, is tasked with developing and overseeing programs and initiatives that promote energy efficiency, renewable energy and energy management in the State. OEP creates and fosters programs that engage stakeholders in improving the environment and the economy through energy conservation, expanded use of viable renewable energy, alternative fuels and transportation, and support for the commercialization of technologies that encourage growth in the State’s clean energy sector.
About the Tennessee Energy Education Initiative
Launched in March 2013, TEEI’s mission is to provide in-depth training and educational tools to support the implementation of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and energy management projects in all sectors. Last year, through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, TEEI reached more than 2,800 stakeholders through 48 “tuition-paid” workshops and events across the State of Tennessee. TEEI partners also developed a program website, www.tnenergy.org, which features a searchable Online Resource Center with content from TEEI workshops.