Federal funds to establish a Tennessee Solar Institute may have arrived last fall, but officials in state government and at the University of Tennessee still are finalizing details that will allow the new program to get down to business.
The institute, funded with $29.2 million via the American Recovery Act, will distribute grants to businesses for solar installations and related efficiency, education, work force training and technical assistance projects.
A contract transferring funds from the state to the university has been approved by the state assembly's Fiscal Review Committee and signed by UT and the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, recipient of the stimulus funds.
"The contract is in the final stages of review and approval, and we expect to have a fully executed contract in the coming weeks, if not sooner," said Laura Elkins of Tennessee's Department of Economic and Community Development.
Read the full column by Larisa Brass at the Knoxville News Sentinel.