TAEBC Lunch and Learn with TVA leadership reinforces advanced energy’s role in Tennessee

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council hosted a lunch and learn on Monday, July 15 with TVA board member Jeff Smith and TVA’s newest CEO and President Jeff Lyash to provide an overview of TAEBC’s efforts in supporting TVA in becoming the energy company of the future.

During the meeting, Matt Murray, Director of the Howard Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and lead author of TAEBC’s 2018 Economic Impact report also presented the latest findings in Tennessee’s advanced energy economy revealing the sector employs nearly 360,000 Tennesseans, contributes nearly $40B in state GDP, and includes more than 18,000 businesses thus reinforcing its critical role in Tennessee’s economy.

Smith shared his visions and priorities for TVA and the roles advanced energy plays, commenting that Lyash’s experience in recognizing the significance of nuclear in distribution portfolios was a major factor in the board’s decision in selecting Lyash as the new CEO & President, as well as Lyash’s background in embracing innovation while working with Ontario Power Generation Inc.

Lyash shared with TAEBC members that July 15 marked his 100th day serving as TVA’s leader and touched on the 2019 Final IRP, which was recently released.

In the 2019 Final IRP, TVA indicated:

  • There is a need for new capacity in all scenarios to replace expiring or retiring capacity.
  • Solar expansion plays a substantial role in all futures.
  • Gas, storage and demand response additions provide reliability and/or flexibility.
  • No baseload resources (designed to operate around the clock) are added, highlighting the need for operational flexibility in the resource portfolio.
  • Additional coal retirements occur in certain futures.
  • Energy efficiency (EE) levels depend on market depth and cost-competitiveness.
  • Wind could play a role if it becomes cost-competitive.
  • In all cases, TVA will continue to provide for economic growth in the Tennessee Valley.

TVA’s Board of Directors will discuss and consider the IRP recommendation during its August meeting. Following board approval, a Record of Decision will be published.

TAEBC thanks both Jeff Smith and Jeff Lyash for offering their time with us to review the significant role advanced energy plays to Tennessee’s economy.

Chattanooga Airport now 100% powered by on-site solar energy

(Originally published on Solar Power World)

The Chattanooga Airport in Tennessee celebrated the completion of the final phase of its 2.64-MW solar farm. The power generated is equal to the airport’s total energy needs. The Chattanooga Airport is the only airport in the nation to now run on 100% renewable energy.

“This is a momentous day for the Chattanooga Airport as we complete our solar farm and achieve a major sustainability milestone,” said Terry Hart, president and CEO of the Chattanooga Airport. “This project has immediate benefits to our airport and community, and we’re proud to set an example in renewable energy for other airports, businesses and our region. While generating a local renewable resource, we are also increasing the economic efficiency of the airport.”

Project partners and elected leaders gathered at Wilson Air Center next to the solar farm to celebrate the grand opening of the installation. TVA and EPB both contributed to the airport’s efforts to bring the solar farm online.

“Renewable energy is a tremendous asset in terms of economic and environmental benefits,” said Doug Perry, TVA vice president of commercial energy solutions.  “With more than 50% of our generating portfolio carbon-free, we’re excited to help the airport protect the environment as they drive tourism and commerce, both vital to achieving our shared mission of economic prosperity for our community.”

The Chattanooga Airport’s 2.64-MW solar installation was made possible by Federal Aviation Administration funding, specifically Voluntary Airport Low Emission and Energy Efficiency grants.

Read more here.

TVA publishes 2019 Final Integrated Resource Plan

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has released its 2019 Final Integrated Resource Plan and associated Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The IRP will guide TVA on how to best meet energy demands over the next two decades. 

During the IRP drafting process, TVA took input from stakeholders and the public to ensure it continues to provide reliable, affordable and clean electricity to the region. Following the release of the draft IRP on Feb. 15, 2019, TAEBC submitted comments in April. 

TVA updated its 2015 IRP to create a more flexible and dependable power-generation system that effectively leverages more renewable energy sources and distributed energy resources. According to IRP study results outlined in the Executive Summary, TVA indicated:

  • There is a need for new capacity in all scenarios to replace expiring or retiring capacity.
  • Solar expansion plays a substantial role in all futures.
  • Gas, storage and demand response additions provide reliability and/or flexibility.
  • No baseload resources (designed to operate around the clock) are added, highlighting the need for operational flexibility in the resource portfolio.
  • Additional coal retirements occur in certain futures.
  • Energy efficiency (EE) levels depend on market depth and cost-competitiveness.
  • Wind could play a role if it becomes cost-competitive.
  • In all cases, TVA will continue to provide for economic growth in the Tennessee Valley.

TVA’s Board of Directors will discuss and consider the IRP recommendation during its August meeting. Following board approval, a Record of Decision will be published. 

ORNL is getting a new $95M research building

(Originally published on Knoxville News Sentinel)

Four shovels flung dirt on the former site of two World War II-era buildings at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. As rubble from the Manhattan Project buildings lay piled in the background, officials broke ground for a $95 million laboratory.

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry and U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., joined ORNL Director Thomas Zacharia and Johnny Moore, ORNL site office manager for DOE, for the ceremony.

The Translational Research Capability facility will be built near the center of ORNL’s main campus. It will include about 100,000 square feet of space, similar to the nearby Chemicals and Materials Sciences building, completed in 2011.

About three-quarters of the building will have open-plan modular areas holding various high-tech equipment and inert environment labs, while the rest will be office and support space, according to a DOE news release.

Some labs had to move to make room for the new Frontier supercomputer, Zacharia said.

Read more here.

Seven new research fellows joining ORNL’s Innovation Crossroads program cohort three

(Originally published on Innovation Crossroads)

Oak Ridge National Laboratory welcomed seven technology innovators to join the third cohort of Innovation Crossroads, the Southeast’s only entrepreneurial research and development program based at a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory.

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) joined Innovation Crossroads as a program sponsor enabling a record number of innovators focused on energy-related and grid topics. Innovation Crossroads is also sponsored by DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO).

Selected through a merit-based process, these scientists and engineers will have the opportunity to advance their technologies by working with world-class science experts and unique capabilities at ORNL, such as Summit, the nation’s most powerful supercomputer; the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, DOE’s largest advanced manufacturing research center; and the Spallation Neutron Source, offering atomic-level insight into advanced materials. The innovators also will be partnered with a powerful network of mentoring organizations in the Southeast to help them develop business strategies to advance their breakthroughs to market.

The third cohort of Innovation Crossroads fellows and their projects include (video):

  • Jesse Thornburg: Learning-Based Monitoring and Control for Optimizing Commercial Refrigeration Operations
  • Alex Lewis: Microbial Electrolysis for Production of Renewable Hydrogen from Organic Waste
  • Leila Safavi-Tehrani: Advanced Production of High Purity Radioisotopes for Nuclear Medicine
  • Hicham Ghossein: Innovative Processing of Advanced Fiber Nonwoven Mats Through a Hydroentanglement System
  • Trevor McQueen: Next-Generation Sample Preparation Device for Cryo-TEM Studies
  • William Fitzhugh: Industrial Scale Production of Semiconducting Carbon-Nanotubes via Resonant-Dielectrophoresis
  • Jesse Claypoole: Advanced Multi-Spectral Light Field Imaging Sensors

Read more here.