An environmental resource for East Tennessee Businesses

September 2010 Archives

The city of Sevierville recently announced completion of an ongoing green event lighting project and dived right into a new greenway initiative.

Over the past several years, City of Sevierville Department of Parks and Recreation staff has been replacing Winterfest display incandescent light bulbs with LED light bulbs. The transition will be complete this season, meaning all City Winterfest displays will be lighted with energy saving LED bulbs.

"The LED bulbs not only use significantly less electricity, they also last longer and emit light that is both brighter and more brilliant looking," said Parks and Recreation Director Bob Parker in a release.

As one project is finished, another is just getting started.

The city plans to begin construction the West Prong Greenway this October. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2010.

The project will begin near Paine Lake Estates, where the current greenway ends and extend along the river towards River Place Shopping Center, a length of approximately 2,000 feet, according to a release

Access to the shopping center will not be available from the greenway; however, additions to provide access to the shopping center are planned for 2011 or 2012, and also to add landscaping and lighting.
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On Monday, Schaad Companies and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, along with partners BarberMcMurry architects, TVA and a number of building technology companies, officially unveiled four homes in the Wolfs Creek subdivision built to test efficient technologies and building practices.

News Sentinel business writer Larisa Brass wrote about the project in a recent column.

More than 30 companies in the construction business, from Du Pont and Whirlpool to Knoxville-based Simple Control, have provided new products to be tested in the homes. The houses are wired with dozens of sensors to measure the effectiveness of the efficiency measures and will remain unoccupied for two years as researchers measure the results, she says.


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An upcoming entry in the "Brown Bag, Green Book" lunch series will feature Madeline Rogero, Knoxville's Director of Community Development, discussing Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less are the Keys to Sustainability by David Owen. 

The event will take place Wednesday, September 29 at 12 p.m. in the East Tennessee History Center Auditorium, 601 S. Gay St. Rogero will  The public is invited to join the conversation, but reading the book is optional.

In Green Metropolis, Owen argues that the greenest community in the United States is not Portland, OR; or Snowmass, CO; but New York, NY. Rogero says she is looking forward to a lively discussion. "Can Knoxville be as 'green' as New York City?" she asks. "This is an intriguing book that challenges current beliefs about how to be truly green and argues that compact urban centers are less damaging to the environment."

The series will continue on Wednesday, October 20 with Martha Buchanan, Director of Knox County Health Department, leading a discussion of Dodging the Toxic Bullet How to Protect Yourself from Everyday Environmental Health Hazards by David R. Boyd.

For more information on the program and past books in the series see the Knox County Public Library website.

Knox County Public Library and the City of Knoxville sponsor the lunch and learn book discussion series focused on sustainability in East Tennessee.
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The second annual East Tennessee Solar Tour and Fair is scheduled for October 1-2.

Nearly 20 local solar experts and companies will exhibit, said Jake Tisinger, City of Knoxville sustainability coordinator, in a press release. Planned activities include workshops on existing solar opportunities, discussion of the financial incentives available to help pay for them, and a self-guided tour of local homes and businesses already benefiting from solar power

"We want to help people go solar," Tisinger said. "Our goal with these events is to increase the awareness of what's already in Knoxville in terms of solar technology and to provide people with the resources they need to get involved."

$20M grant will fund more solar research

News Sentinel writer Tom Humphrey reports The National Science Foundation has awarded Tennessee a $20 million grant to fund energy-related research at the University of Tennessee, nine other state universities and Oak Ridge National Laboratory over the next five years.

The money will pay for hiring new faculty at institutions not yet conducting extensive research and will provide scholarships, stipends and internships for students.

The research focuses on three main areas, according to a statement: advanced solar conversion and innovation, components and devices for energy storage and conversion, and nanostructures for enhancing energy efficiency.

See the full article on Knoxvillebiz.
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Late last month state officials announced a new $50 million program to provide loans for businesses seeking to reduce energy consumption in their Tennessee facilities through building retrofits and upgrades, equipment replacement purchases or other energy efficiency or renewable energy projects.

Pathway Lending, the loan administrator, has planned a series of workshops around the state this month to explain how businesses can take advantage of the program.

The Knoxville workshop is scheduled on 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. September 29 at  Buddy's BBQ - Bearden's Banquet Hall 5806 Kingston Pike. RSVP to (615) 425.7171 or email jen.mclachlan@pathwaylending.org.

A full list of workshop dates and locations are available at Pathway Lending.



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TVA received 90 proposals for new large-scale renewable electricity projects as last week's Generation Partners application deadline loomed, News Sentinel business writer Larisa Brass reports today.

The utility has approved four biomass and 23 solar systems and is currently processing applications for an additional 16 biomass and 51 solar projects, officials said.

Now that the deadline for current incentives has passed, TVA plans to draft guidelines for a new program aimed at encouraging utility-sized biomass, wind and solar electricity generation.

Read the entire article at the News Sentinel. Brass also plans a follow up piece Friday.

EDIT:
Here's the updated article with more information.
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If you haven't yet visited Knoxville's new 1 megawatt solar installation, you'll have another chance next month.

Efficient Energy of East Tennessee will host a solar tour and tailgate/cookout 10 a.m. to 3 p.m Saturday, October 2 at the installation, 813 Andrew Johnson Highway.

EETN staff will be available to answer any questions about the facility and give tours. Picnic foods will feature products from local companies Wamplers Farm Sausage and Family Brands International  -- EETN says both companies have upcoming solar installations as well.

Team Living Light, the University of Tennessee team competing in Solar Decathlon 2011, will give a presentation at 11:30 at the NEG energy educational center on site. Solar Decathlon is a Department of Energy event that challenges students to design and build a functioning, energy-efficient, solar-powered house.

More information and registration contacts are available at EETN's GoSolar site or call 865-947-3386.


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