Tennessee receives three federal EDA Regional Innovation Strategies grants

(Originally Published on LaunchTN.org)

LaunchTN, AgLaunch, and Epicenter to receive funds to help TN startups

Nashville, Tenn. – Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN), a Nashville-based public-private partnership that fosters entrepreneurship across the state, along with Memphis-based nonprofits AgLaunch and Epicenter, were announced today as winners of the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Regional Innovation Strategies competition.

AgLaunch, a multi-state organization headquartered in Memphis, and LaunchTN will receive federal funding in the amount of $750,000 and $500,000, respectively, in support of each organization’s innovation strategy programs. Epicenter will receive $289,500 in federal funding to support the operations of two early-stage capital funds. All of the grants require a local match, for which each organization has commitments.

The federal grants are made annually under the Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program competition, but 2019 marks the first time that Tennessee has received more than one grant in a given year, and the first time since 2016 that a Tennessee organization has received an EDA grant.

“The fact that three Tennessee organizations were awarded EDA grants is a strong testament to the ecosystem we’re building,” said Margaret Dolan, president and CEO of LaunchTN. “It puts our state on a national stage as innovative and collaborative in our approach to building a state-wide network that supports entrepreneurs at every stage of development.”

Read more here.

POSTPONED: Ask Me Anything with Energy CEOs Part 2 with Ben Edgar!

UPDATE 8/7/19: This event has been postponed due to scheduling conflicts. We apologize for this inconvenience.

We’re excited to bring you the second-part in our new three-part series of “Ask Me Anything” with Energy CEOs! Our second session will feature White Harvest Energy President and Founder, Ben Edgar!

Learn about White Harvest Energy and Ben Edgar’s background before you go!

What is “Ask Me Anything”?

“Ask Me Anything” sessions provide intimate, candid discussions between attendees and energy CEOs where attendees can “ask anything” related to business, strategy, work-life balance and everything in between. The sessions will consist of live questions with a moderator as well as questions sent in prior to the event via social media.

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.

Tennessee’s largest solar farm now operational at Millington Naval Facility

The largest solar farm in the state of Tennessee is now operational at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Mid-South in Millington. The innovative project is the result of a unique public-private partnership that brought together the City of Millington, the U.S. Navy, Memphis, Light, Gas and Water (MLGW), Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), and Silicon Ranch Corporation with a shared vision to support the local community and the naval base.

Nashville-based Silicon Ranch, the U.S. solar platform for Shell and one of America’s largest independent solar power producers, employed more than 300 people to construct the 53 megawatt (MWAC) facility and will provide reliable, resilient power to the NSA Mid-South and TVA at cost-competitive rates for the next twenty years. As part of the unique partnership, Silicon Ranch signed a long-term lease with the U.S. Navy for 72 acres of base land and purchased an adjacent 348 acres from the Millington Industrial Development Board (MIDB).

While the majority of the solar array is located on the adjacent private land, the naval installation received a brand new alternative electrical feed that will increase energy security and resilience at NSA Mid-South. This feature enables the installation’s more than 6,500 personnel to focus on their mission at the Navy’s Human Resources Center of Excellence. The project also illustrates the value of divesting Navy land that isn’t crucial to an installation’s mission and could be redeveloped through partnerships to benefit the Navy and the surrounding community.

Underscoring the significance of the landmark project, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said, “Partnerships fuel innovation, and we are proud of the work by community leaders, the U.S. Navy, and Silicon Ranch to expand solar technology in West Tennessee. We look forward to a continued partnership as we strengthen rural Tennessee, modernize our infrastructure, and prepare for the jobs of the future.”

Read more from Silicon Ranch Corporation’s website.

Celebrating Entrepreneurship and Innovation Across Tennessee

Please join us for a celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation across Tennessee. We’ll connect you with startup founders and ecosystem developers in your backyard, so you can hear first-hand what exciting things are happening to make Tennessee the most startup-friendly state in the nation.

RSVP by email to Tia@launchtn.org

Happening Tuesday, February 19, 2019

5:30 PM – 8:00 PM CT

Musicians’ of Fame

401 Gay Street, Nashville, TN 37201

(Directly across from Cordell Hull)