TAEBC talks opportunity with House Energy Task Force

TAEBC meets with House Energy Task Force

TAEBC meets with the House Energy Task Force

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council kicked off the unofficial start of summer on May 23 by joining the House Energy Task Force on a tour of the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant Unit 2 facility and meeting with Task Force members to discuss energy as an economic driver for the state.

TVA’s Watts Bar team led a discussion and tour with House Energy Task Force Chair, Representative John Ragan, member Representative Sheila Butt and TAEBC members: Schneider Electric, White Harvest Energy and the Howard Baker Jr. Center through the construction site and into the Unit 2 reactor. About 3,200 people are working to complete Watts Bar 2, which will be the first nuclear plant in the U.S. to meet new Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations set after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

After the tour, Rep. Ragan led a discussion with fellow House Energy Task Force member Rep. Sheila Butt about the Task Force’s desire to develop a state energy policy that is unique to Tennessee.

TAEBC members participated in the conversation by sharing information about their companies and why our state is uniquely positioned to gain its fair share of the $1 trillion, global advanced energy economy. TAEBC stands ready to share information and experiences with the Task Force so that Tennessee is well positioned to use advanced energy as an economic development and job creation strategy.

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Just call him Ernie

Secretary Moniz at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Secretary Moniz at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander introduced U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to a packed auditorium at the University of Tennessee Law School by telling the audience, “he likes to be called Ernie.”  It’s fitting. Especially for a man whose most distinguishing feature is his wavy mop of mostly white hair. He once told the Knoxville News Sentinel he thought all the attention paid to his hair was, “absolutely excellent!”

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) was on-site to not only see that hair in person, but to also listen to the former Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist discuss the Administration’s “all of the above” energy policy.

It was exciting to hear the Secretary gush about Tennessee’s role (in particular Oak Ridge National Lab) in meeting our nation’s energy challenges. The challenges and opportunities Moniz described are the reasons why we created the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council–to champion advanced energy as an economic development and job creation strategy.

We might be a little biased but, we think Tennessee is uniquely positioned to meet those challenges and gain its (more than) fair share of the $1 trillion global advanced energy market.

Economic assets that are unique to our state will shape the potential for the expansion of advanced energy technologies in Tennessee. Oak Ridge National Lab and the close relationship it enjoys with the University of Tennessee is certainly one of those assets.

Our ability to understand what our unique assets bring to the discussion, as well as their willingness to combine these assets in support of advanced energy technologies will, to a large extent, shape the opportunities for expansion of the industry in Tennessee. That’s the role TAEBC seeks to fill.

Catch highlights from Ernie’s lecture on our twitter feed (tweet from May 25 pictured below) or check out the Howard Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy website for his complete remarks.

Secretary Moniz was at the University of Tennessee last month to provide the Baker Distinguished Lecture on Energy and the Environment.

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