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Tennessee Solar Institute awards $9M to Tenn. businesses

Three months after making grants available to businesses looking to invest in solar power, the Tennessee Solar Institute has awarded more than $9 million to 108 applicants across the state.

The grants will go, on a reimbursement basis, to projects varying in size from about 4 kilowatts to nearly 1 megawatt, News Sentinel business writer Larisa Brass wrote in last week's update on the program.

When completed, the installations will produce more than 5.8 megawatts of power across the state, enough to power the equivalent of 600 to 700 homes. The funding is part of $62.5 million in federal stimulus funds the state is using for a variety of solar-related initiatives.

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The grants were given on a first-come, first-served basis based on the size of the project up to 200 kilowatts. The awards pay a 40 percent reimbursement of up to $75,000. A variety of businesses, ranging from dairies and restaurants to office buildings and marinas, received awards.

Knoxville companies received 10 grants worth $1.09 million, and an additional 13 projects in Maryville, Lenoir City, Loudon, Louisville, Walland, Corryton, Madisonville, Vonore, Philadelphia and Sweetwater received grants worth about $896,000. Total value of the local projects is $7.2 million.

However, the $9 million -- which came from federal stimulus funds awarded to the state -- was spent quickly and causes concern for solar installers, who are among those benefiting from the business boon encouraged by the grants.

For full details, see Brass' article on Knoxvillebiz.

UPDATE: A full list of projects receiving funding is available for download as a PDF. 

The 12 Knox County projects received a total of $1,315,695

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