Two TAEBC members place in Solar Power World’s 2020 Top 100 Solar Contractors list

Solar Power World, the industry’s leading source for technology, development and installation news, has unveiled its 2020 Top Solar Contractors list. The list ranks applicants according to their influence in the U.S. solar industry in 2019.

This year TAEBC member Silicon Ranch Corporation ranked #19 on the list, installing 282,544 kW in 2019 and a grand total of 829,000 kW installed since its founding.

Silicon Ranch is the U.S. solar platform for Shell and one of the largest independent solar power producers in the country. Silicon Ranch’s work with a diverse set of customers across the country, including Fortune 500 companies and electric cooperatives, demonstrates its ability to customize solutions that ensure successful outcomes. The company’s operating portfolio includes more than 135 facilities across 14 states from New York to California, including the first large-scale solar projects in Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas, and Mississippi.

Silicon Ranch was also selected as 2020’s ‘Most Forward-Thinking’ company by Solar Power World for its pioneering work with Regenerative EnergyTM. In addition to earning this prestigious honor, Silicon Ranch was further recognized as the #2 solar developer in the publication’s annual rankings of the Top Solar Contractors, up a spot from its third-place finish in 2019.

TAEBC member Ameresco, headquartered in Massachusetts but with locations in Tennessee, ranked #78 on the list, installing 22,611 kW in 2019 and 245,792 kW since its founding.

Ameresco is a leading independent provider of comprehensive energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions for facilities throughout North America and the United Kingdom, delivering long-term value through innovative systems, strategies and technologies. Ameresco’s solutions range from upgrades to facility’s energy infrastructure to the development, construction and operation of renewable energy plants combined with tailored financial solutions. The company works with customers on both sides of the meter to reduce operating expenses, upgrade and maintain facilities, stabilize energy costs, improve occupancy comfort levels, increase energy reliability and enhance the environment.

You can view the complete list of rankings on Solar Power World’s website.

Disclosure: The list details the headquarters location of a company, employees, its primary market (utility, commercial, residential) and its primary service (EPC, developer, rooftop contractor, installation subcontractor, electrical subcontractor, manufacturer installer). Companies choose their primary market and primary service. That does not mean they only work in these areas. They could work across all markets and all services, and their listed kilowatts reflect their cumulative installation numbers from the last year in all markets, services and states. Ranks are determined by the number of kilowatts (DC) a company was involved with installing in 2019 in the United States only. If two companies reported the same 2019 numbers, they were sorted by total kilowatts installed.

Tennessee companies receiving DOE SBIR, STTR Phase II grants

(Originally published on Department of Energy)

The Department of Energy (DOE) will award 105 grants totaling $116 million to 92 small businesses in 31 states, including some in Tennessee. 

Funded through DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, the selections are for Phase II research and development (R&D). 

Small businesses that demonstrated technical feasibility for innovations during their Phase I grants competed for funding for prototype or processes development during Phase II. 

In addition, prior Phase II awardees competed for second or third Phase II awards to continue prototype and process development. The median Phase II award is $1,100,000 for a period of two years.   

Those awardees include:

  • Coulometrics (Chattanooga)

Project Title: The development of a stabilized SEI layer for si-containing lithium ion battery anodes

  • Carbon Rivers LLC (Knoxville)

Project Title: Recovery of glass fiber reinforcement from retired wind turbine blades for recycled composite materials

Summary: An innovative process is being developed to convert waste from retired wind turbine blades, as well as other reinforced plastics, into new materials for manufacturing. If successful, this technology would allow for wind blades and other reinforced plastics to be diverted from landfills and into new lightweight materials for making products like fuel efficient vehicles.

National coalition requests $150 billion in federal transportation electrification stimulus, projects to create over two million jobs

(Originally published on Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator)

A growing national coalition of cleantech companies and organizations representing business, labor, and startup innovation has joined the call for the Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP)‘s $150 billion federal stimulus proposal.

These investments in the nation’s transportation infrastructure would be in direct response to the economic and health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spearheaded by TEP & the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), the national coalition currently represents leaders (including TAEBC) from 14 states and DC requesting zero emissions vehicle manufacturing and innovation, infrastructure deployment, public and active transit, job training, high-quality workforce standards, and support for related startups and small business, prioritizing those started by underrepresented founders.

New findings show TEP’s proposal could create up to 2.3 million jobs across the U.S. The research from economic advisory firm HR&A estimates the proposed $150 billion in stimulus investment would boost employment in all sectors, with 1.4 million jobs expected to build out our nation’s zero emissions transportation infrastructure alone.

The TEP federal stimulus proposal calls for:

  • $25 billion investment in the assembly and adoption of electric and zero emissions vehicles along with supply chain development (e.g., producing domestic lithium for batteries, etc.);
  • $85 billion for EV charging and related infrastructure investment;
  • $25 billion for zero emissions public transit, active transit and safe streets;
  • $12.5 billion for workforce development, safety standards and job training; and
  • $2.5 billion in innovation ecosystems for cleantech startups and related small businesses, prioritizing those created by underrepresented founders.

Nominations approved for Beth Harwell, Brian Noland to serve on TVA Board

(Originally published on Clarksville Online)

The nominations of Beth Harwell and Brian Noland to serve on the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Board of Directors were approved by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Harwell previously served as Tennessee’s Speaker of the House, while Noland serves as East Tennessee State University’s President.

Senator Lamar Alexander released the following statement: “TVA is a big and important institution. It is a $10 billion a year business. It serves the residents of seven states by providing cheap, reliable electricity,” Senator Alexander said.

“In my opinion, TVA has been on a good track for the last few years. The scoreboard for TVA is in rates, and according to TVA, its residential rates are in the cheapest 25 percent of residential rates and its business rates are in the cheapest 10 percent of business rates in the country.,” stated Senator Alexander.

“I’m especially delighted that these two individuals – Beth Harwell and Brian Noland – have been nominated to serve. They’re two of our state’s most distinguished citizens, and they will make outstanding TVA Board Members. I’m glad their nominations were approved today, and I look forward to them being confirmed by the full Senate.”

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works also approved the nomination of Knoxville native Katherine Crytzer, who has been nominated by the president to serve as Inspector General of TVA.

These are exciting times for Anna Douglas and SkyNano

(Crossposted from Teknovation.biz)

This is a pretty exciting time for Anna Douglas, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of SkyNano LLC, a member of the first cohort of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL) “Innovation Crossroads” (IC) program.

She just won two U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grants that total $2.7 million, including cost share for one, and has two other smaller projects lined-up for the start-up founded in January 2017 and focused on manufacturing of low-cost, high-value carbon materials from carbon dioxide.

It’s an understatement to say there are a lot of moving parts for SkyNano right now, but they align very well with the long-term goals of the recent Vanderbilt University PhD who quickly became the public face of the IC initiative shortly after her arrival in Knoxville in May 2017.

“These are two pretty different projects,” Douglas says of the DOE-funded activities. One is a Phase I $200,000 Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) award that was announced May 20 as part of a $53 million package; the other, announced June 16, is a $2.5 million research and development project that requires a $500,000 cost-share match. SkyNano was one of 11 recipients of the latter that distributed $17 million with most of it going to universities including three awards alone to institutions in Kentucky.

Keep reading Anna Douglas’ full story.