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.

TVA webinar presents progress and next steps for 2019 IRP

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) hosted a public webinar on June 5 to discuss updates on the 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and accompanying Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Both the IRP and EIS are being finalized and should be released June 28.

During the webinar, TVA provided an overview of comments received during the public comment period, highlights of additional computer modeling completed in response to public comments and a review of next steps to finalize the IRP recommendation. There was also a short Q&A session.

TVA released its draft 2019 IRP on Feb. 15, 2019, which initiated the public review period that concluded April 8. In April, TAEBC submitted comments to TVA.

In the webinar, TVA announced it received public comments on a variety of topics ranging from energy resource options to environmental impacts. Some of these comments include:

  • Support for distributed energy generation, demand reduction and increasing storage capability
  • Desire for increased and earlier adoption of renewable energy
  • Concern over small amount of energy efficiency in portfolios

The public comments helped inform TVA’s sensitivity analysis and are considered in the development of the IRP Recommendation. TVA also revised the EIS to address substantive comments on environmental analysis. The public comments and responses will be appended to the Final IRP/EIS.

The webinar also revealed next steps regarding the 2019 IRP:

  • TVA will host a Regional Energy Resource Council Meeting covering the 2019 IRP from June 26-27 in Chattanooga, Tenn.
  • A public listening session will be held June 26, where the public is invited to share comments as the Energy Resource Council forms their recommendations.

TVA intends to request approval of the IRP Recommendation from the Board in August 2019. Once approved, a Record of Decision will be published.

To learn more about TVA’s 2019 IRP website and to view the published webinar, follow this link.