Deadline: Tennessee Green Fleets 2019 Certification Program Applications

The Tennessee Green Fleets (TGF) program offers an opportunity for Tennessee fleets to receive certification for their transportation efficiency efforts. Organized by Tennessee Clean Fuels, TGF certification is based on an applicant’s vehicle data and fleet fuel use. The TGF program recognizes fleets based on actions taken to reduce petroleum consumption, lessen greenhouse gas emissions, and implement alternative fuel vehicles.

Applicants who receive certification will be honored at a special ceremony during the 2019 Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Forum and Expo. Applications for 2019 TGF certification are due by June 30. For more information about the program, visit http://www.tncleanfuels.org.

There’s still time to submit nominations for the 2019 Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Awards

TDEC and TDOT invite nominations for the fifth annual Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Awards. Winners will be announced at the Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Forum & Expo, which will take place on Oct. 1-2, 2019 in Knoxville.

The Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Awards recognize outstanding initiatives to improve the efficiency, accessibility, affordability, and sustainability of transportation systems in the state, consistent with ongoing efforts to improve the health and well-being of Tennesseans, provide for a strong economy, and protect and enhance our state’s natural resources. A panel of reviewers representing an array of interests will select award winners based on the following criteria:

  • Innovation – how the project utilized new thinking or creative approaches to meet a particular transportation challenge;
  • Best Practices and Replicability– how the project demonstrates a transferable solution, such that others could adopt or implement similar programs or initiatives;
  • Changes in Transportation Behavior– how a project worked to encourage or achieve changes in transportation behavior in order to make a transportation system more efficient;
  • Improvements to Public Health and Safety– how a project creates improvements to public health, well-being or safety in a given community.

Eligible applicants include federal, state, and local governments; commercial, nonprofit, and industrial organizations; public and private institutions of higher education; and utilities. The entity must be located in Tennessee, and the project must have been completed in the last five years. All nominees must have a minimum of three consecutive, current years of exceptional environmental compliance with TDEC. Self-nominations are encouraged.

More information, including the nomination form, can be found at https://www.tn.gov/environment/TSTA.

June 14, 2019 is the last day for nominations to be submitted. Questions about the awards can be directed to Alexa Voytek at Alexa.Voytek@tn.gov or 615-532-0238.

TennSMART Spring Member Meeting

TennSMART Member Meetings stand to spark the imaginations of those in the mobility industry, offering real-world solutions to transportation technology issues and fostering the development of new partnerships that will push the industry forward.

On April 9, 2019, TennSMART will host a member meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. During the event, keynote speakers and panelists will discuss many of the most relevant topics in intelligent mobility surrounding TennSMART’s five research initiatives:

  • Connected and automated vehicles
  • Electric vehicles
  • Cybersecurity
  • Freight efficiency
  • Multimodal commuting

Attendees are also invited to join at 5 p.m. for TennSMART’s Legislative Reception in downtown Nashville – Location TBD.

RSVP here!

Disclaimer: TennSMART meetings are open to TennSMART members and first-time meeting guests only. If you are a prospective member who attendedtn either the Fall 2017 Consortium Summit in Chattanooga or the Spring 2018 Member Meeting in Nashville, you must join TennSMART to attend this meeting or the Legislative Reception. More information about joining TennSMART is available at www.TennSMART.org/members/.

Schneider Electric hosts TAEBC Annual Meeting featuring Thomas B Ballard award, TVA DER progress

Another successful Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council Annual Meeting is in the books thanks to Schneider Electric.

In Franklin, TAEBC members, stakeholders and supporters gathered at Schneider Electric’s newest Nashville Hub and while there witnessed renowned Tennessee collaborator and partnerships builder Tom Ballard receive the Thomas B. Ballard Advanced Energy Leadership Award named in his honor.

The Thomas B. Ballard Advanced Energy Leadership Award honors exemplary leadership and success in championing, connecting, and strengthening Tennessee’s advanced energy economy.

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council champions the state’s advanced energy economy as an economic development and job creation strategy through sharing information, connecting stakeholders, and strengthening the industry. These pillars are personally exemplified by the tireless work of Tom Ballard, an unparalleled leader, educator, mentor, and advocate of Tennessee’s advanced energy economy.

TAEBC also announced the Thomas B. Ballard Advanced Energy Leadership Award will be an annual award, accepting nominations every year and presenting the winner with the honor at future annual meetings.

Ballard stepped down as long time board member for TAEBC, and Ameresco’s own Steve Seifried was appointed by the board to fill Ballard’s vacancy.

Schneider Electric’s Vice President of Utility & Microgrid Solutions Don Wingate, touched on the new energy landscape emerging with more microgrid implementation happening across the United States and how Schneider Electric came up with a new line of business after assisting Montgomery County, Maryland in successfully completing two advanced public safety microgrids dubbing it ‘Microgrid as a Service.’

Wingate explained the approach Schneider Electric took is very different from a purchase power agreement. “We gave them a price per kilowatt hour less than what they were paying,” said Wingate.

He also underscored the innovative approaches that the corporation is taking by describing Schneider Electric Ventures. “It’s a new way to harvest ideas,” Wingate said, adding that it “is far more than a typical venture capitalist.” The fund made five investments in 2018.

Attendees also heard from Chris Hansen, TVA’s Director of Pricing Strategy & Origination, who spotlighted the energy company’s efforts to meet renewable energy expectations of Google and Facebook for new data centers the companies were constructing in the Valley. Both global giants are known for their commitments to sustainability and clean energy.

Working together, the corporations and TVA developed something called the “Renewable Investment Agreement” that is a new model for TVA. It met all parties’ key requirements and also uncovered a more than expected availability of renewable energy sources to help ensure that the region does not miss out on these types of projects in the future.

At the end of the event, Schneider Electric hosted a technology showcase highlighting the company’s microgrid solutions, energy automation & control systems, and smart home technologies.

Credit: Teknovation.biz for parts of this blog post.

Drive Electric Tennessee outlines plan for Tennessee’s electric vehicle future in statewide Electric Vehicle Roadmap

Drive Electric Tennessee, a statewide electric vehicle (EV) consortium, hopes to make the Tennessee Valley a leader in EV transportation in the Southeast over the next decade.

Throughout 2018, state agencies, universities, utilities, advocacy groups, electric vehicle OEMs, and other stakeholders collaborated to define their outlook for Tennessee’s clean transportation sector. In January 2019, Drive Electric Tennessee released the culmination of its hard work, A Roadmap for Electric Vehicles in Tennessee.

The Roadmap offers guiding principles, goals, opportunity areas, and approaches to get more EVs on the road during the next 10 years. According to the report, Drive Electric Tennessee aspires to significantly increase EV adoption from less than 5,000 EVs in 2017 to 200,000 by 2028.

Guiding principles behind the Roadmap focus on economic development, social benefits, cost-effectiveness, and technology innovation. The report states EV adoption in the state will promote local and regional economic development, reduce environment impacts, foster entrepreneurship and technical innovation, and prepare for a more connected, autonomous transportation sector in near the future.

The Roadmap identifies four key opportunity areas to address major EV market gaps in the state. Drive Electric Tennessee will meet each goal through the implementation of 45 projects and 15 initiatives over the next decade. Each opportunity area is tied to high-level, clean transportation goals for Tennessee. These four opportunity areas and goals are:

  1. Driving Charging Infrastructure Availability: Develop a charging infrastructure that enables Tennessee residents to (1) drive and charge an EV in their daily lives (home, work, and public charging) or (2) access electric public transit options.
  2. Driving Awareness: Increase awareness and first-hand experience of the benefits of driving an EV such that the majority of vehicle owners are aware of EVs when they begin their next purchasing process.
  3. Driving Innovative and Supportive Policies: Create consistent, innovative, and supportive policies across Tennessee at the state, county, city, and utility levels, inclusive of incentives, electricity rates, planning standards, and other policies and programs.
  4. Driving EV Availability, Offerings, and Innovation: Make EV models viable, accessible, and comparable purchasing alternatives to traditional vehicles.

At TAEBC, we believe advanced energy solutions, such as clean transportation, lead to state job creation and economic development. This Roadmap emphasizes the importance of stakeholders coming together to help Tennessee become a leader in EV adoption in the next few years.

As our state leads the country in employment for automobile and vehicle component manufacturing, we already have the potential to become an integral force in this bright future of the transportation sector.

This potential turned into a reality in mid-January, when Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam announced that Volkswagen will build their first EV manufacturing facility in the country in Chattanooga.

The project will create 1,000 new jobs in Hamilton county and serves as an $800 million investment from Volkswagen. Remarking on this deal, Rolfe told The Times Press Press that he intends for Tennessee to be number one in the country for EV manufacturing.

Both the announcement and Drive Electric Tennessee’s report demonstrates how Tennessee is turning stakeholder interest in sustainable transportation solutions into an economic reality to benefit all Tennesseans.