Bradley, TDEC and TVA representatives discussed energy programs, incentives and policies to help business leaders throughout the state
On August 3, the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council hosted a Statewide Energy Incentives and Programs Webinar, building on conversations started at two previous advanced energy virtual business roundtables. During the event, speakers discussed energy programs, incentives and policies facing business leaders and entrepreneurs across the state.
The two-hour webinar was moderated by Chris Bowles, Partner at Bradley and TAEBC President. He was joined on the virtual stage by Ryan Stanton, Senior Consultant for Strategic Energy Initiatives at the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, and two speakers from the Tennessee Valley Authority: Abby Henson, Senior Consultant of Origination and Renewables, and Chris Boehm, Energy Right Analyst.
“We have a really great panel of speakers to talk about incentives for advanced energy in Tennessee, which will cover a lot of Tennessee-based incentives and also some federal programs that are available for businesses in Tennessee,” said Bowles.
The event helped guide communication and outreach efforts regarding advanced energy; ensure business leaders and entrepreneurs are aware of energy-related programs accessible to them and how to maximize resources; guide stakeholders to understand how to navigate energy-related programs at a state and federal level; and increase feedback regarding existing energy incentives and desired incentives.
TVA’s Green Invest, Green Flex, EnergyRight and other programs and initiatives
First, Henson kicked off the event, providing and overview of TVA’s renewable suite of solutions for commercial and industrial partners, including its Green Invest, Green Flex and Dispersed Power Production programs.
“Green Invest is a key component to the solar strategy and growth of renewables in the Valley and region,” said Henson. “At its core, it is a solution to help customers meet their renewable goals at scale.”
Boehm followed Henson’s presentation, speaking about TVA’s EnergyRight program for business and industry. He covered incentive participation rules, current incentive offerings, community and private sector-focused programming and future goals.
“What we do is we offer incentive programs as well as assistance programs to companies here in the Tennessee Valley,” said Boehm. “We want to encourage adoption of efficient, safe technologies and promote economic development.”
TDEC’s energy programs and incentives
Next, Stanton discussed the state’s energy programs and incentives, including energy in transportation initiatives, energy efficiency and renewables programs, resilience and mitigation offerings, relevant 2021 legislation and the new bipartisan infrastructure package. He provided an update on the state’s newly launched Corridor Fast Charging Network, along with specific insight into various state and federal programs relevant to the advanced energy sector.
“You may have heard already, but we are building a fast charge corridor across Tennessee,“ said Stanton. “Back in February, we announced a partnership to jointly fund and develop a fast-charging program to put chargers every 50 miles throughout the state and Tennessee Valley. The driving goal behind that is to reduce range anxiety on the part of EV drivers, or as we say, enhanced range confidence, for people to get around all corners of the state.”
Bradley’s overview of Tennessee tax incentives for advanced energy industry
Serving as both moderator and presenter, Bowles spoke about specific Tennessee tax incentives for individuals, agencies and organizations in the advanced energy sector. In his presentation, he provided an overview of state and location taxation and broke down available tax incentives into two buckets: Certified Green Energy Production Facilities and General Economic Development Incentives. Bowles opened his presentation by speaking about the value of TAEBC through its intersection of business and advanced energy, especially with a focus on job creation.
“This advanced energy economy is growing and getting stronger. For those of us that work in this area, it really looks like it’s only going to get more robust as we go forward,” said Bowles. “Kudos to our state leaders, TAEBC Executive Director Cortney Piper and others who have the foresight to form this organization.”
The event wrapped up with an audience Q&A, allowing attendees to gain insight they need to navigate complicated state and federal government processes. During the Q&A, panelists answered questions on a range of topics relating to progress in the state’s advanced energy industry and associated incentives. One question focused on TDEC’s motivation behind its partnership with TVA for the fast-charging network.
“Part of the reason we wanted to fill in these corridors and put chargers along the gaps in more rural parts of the state is because … people won’t buy electric vehicles unless they know they can get to where they need to go,” said Stanton. “So, having that infrastructure there that people know they can use when they get there or along the way is foundational and a must-have. We identified that as a critical need for funding for that infrastructure.”
To watch or rewatch the event, please follow this link.