Join us for “Opportunities in Energy: Public/Private Financing Options to Deploy Advanced Energy & Manufacturing”

When: Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014

Where: Howard Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, 1640 Cumberland Ave., Knoxville, TN

Featuring: Kevin Knobloch, Chief of Staff, U.S. Department of Energy

Wednesday, December 10th
1:00 – 6:00 PM

National experts will highlight best practices in advanced energy and manufacturing finance and discuss how we can grow advanced energy companies, technologies and jobs throughout Tennessee.

Presented by: United States Department of Energy, Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council, University of Tennessee, and Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus

Click here to register and/or learn more.

TAEBC members participate in Knoxville Entrepreneur Roundtable

Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council members Mary Shafer Gill of ARiES Energy and Tom Ballard of Pershing Yoakley & Associates participated in the Knoxville Entrepreneur Roundtable on November 7, 2014 at the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center.

The panelists discussed how startup companies succeed and what factors are influencing entrepreneurship in the area. Perhaps the most captivating questions of the afternoon: “How can Knoxville grow into becoming the South’s mecca for entrepreneurship?”

Click here for a recap of the Roundtable, as told through the eyes of Cameo Jonas, a University of Tennessee student who attended the event.

Big on ideas, short on financing options?

TAEBC had the pleasure of participating in a workshop at the Howard Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy this week to brainstorm energy policy ideas and topics for consideration in the context of a state energy plan. The workshop complements a Baker Center project funded by the State of Tennessee to create a state energy benchmark profile as a prelude to a potential state energy plan development effort. Special thanks to Representative John Ragan, Chair of the House Energy Task Force, for his leadership on this issue and starting the discussion with stakeholders.

After hosting more than a half dozen listening sessions across the state this year, we know our members and the advanced energy industry have important information to share regarding policies to expand and strengthen the industry. We put much of that information in A Roadmap for Tennessee’s Advanced Energy Economy.

As you would expect, a lot of our discussions at the Baker Center focused on playing to Tennessee’s advanced energy assets and financing mechanisms for our great ideas.

One resource that TAEBC learned about during our recent visit to Washington D.C. is the “Guide to Federal Financing for Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Deployment,” updated October 1, 2014: a resource guide that lists the various federal financing programs for which energy efficiency and clean energy qualify — meant to make it easier for state, local and tribal leaders, along with their partners in the private sector, to find capital for energy efficiency and clean energy projects.

A priority for TAEBC is to identify financing mechanisms for advanced energy projects and inform policy that expands the industry, so stay tuned for more information.

Oak Ridge National Lab to help EPB improve Chattanooga’s smart grid

The City of Chattanooga’s smart grid is about to get even smarter with the help of the Oak Ridge National Lab.

The Oak Ridge National Lab, the U.S. Department of Energy and the city-owned EPB signed an agreement this week for DOE researchers and computer experts from Oak Ridge to help EPB better analyze and control the volumes of data gathered continuously from the utility’s fiber-optic network attached for the past couple of years to Chattanooga’s electric grid.

“This partnership is real and we intend to move forward immediately in ways that hopefully can improve the reliability and efficiency of our electric system,” EPB Chairman Joe Ferguson said today after signing a memorandum of understanding to work with DOE and ORNL.

Chattanooga boasts the fastest citywide Internet links of any city in the Western Hemisphere, thanks to the federally-funded EPB fiber optic network. EPB got $111.6 million in federal stimulus funds nearly five years ago to help build its fiber optic network across its 600-mile service territory. EPB has installed more than 1,100 IntelligRuptors, which are smart grid devices that both alert system controllers of power problems and isolate outages.

EPB President Harold DePriest said the smart grid has already helped reduce outage times in Chattanooga by 60 percent and with Oak Ridge assistance, he hopes to identify new ways to make the grid smarter, more reliable and even faster.

EPB’s smart grid gathers meter readings from users once every 15 minutes, or nearly 3,000 times more often than the manual monthly meter readings used in the past. The Oak Ridge laboratory, which boasts one of the fastest and biggest computers in the world, will provide engineering scholars at EPB to study, sort and analyze the data from the smart grid. ORNL Lab Director Thomas Mason said such data analysis should not only help EPB get better but to develop systems to help electricity providers improve around the country.

Read the full story in the Chattanooga Times Free Press here.

Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press

TAEBC Energy Manufacturer’s Roundtable

TAEBC reconvened participants from the Knox County Mayor’s manufacturer’s energy roundtable to talk more about energy challenges and opportunities the industry faces in Knox County.

Joining TAEBC at the RAMP conference were:

  • Dean Lee, Head Location Management, Siemens
  • Kennon Rollins, Engineering Manager, Keurig Green Mountain
  • Ben Armijo, Utilities Manager, Dow Chemical

As an end-use sector, manufacturing is the most diverse in the U.S. economy in terms of its energy sources, foundational technologies, and the products manufacturing produces. So, integrating advanced and energy efficient technologies into operations and process or end products, can help give our manufacturers a competitive edge.

All three representatives stressed the need for trusted partners, peer-to-peer information sharing and methods to reduce risks when they consider deploying a new, more efficient technology or process at their plant.

TAEBC’s Advanced Energy Asset Inventory provides a great first access point to manufacturers looking to deploy more efficient processes or technologies. During our visit to Washington D.C. to meet with the U.S. Department of Energy, we learned of several programs and technical assistance resources available to manufacturers. One in particular that assists with peer-to-peer learning is the Better Plants Challenge.

TAEBC continues to engage with the ten manufacturers from the summer roundtable to develop projects that can help our manufacturers gain more control of their energy costs. Stay tuned!

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