An environmental resource for East Tennessee Businesses

January 2011 Archives

The 2011 Green Business Summit, Innovations in Sustainability, will discuss how you can grow your business the green way. Learn how to stay competitive and grow with sustainable business practices.

Lipscomb University's Institute for Sustainable Practice in Nashville will host the fourth annual Green Business Summit April 21-22 at the Nashville Convention Center.

Keynote speakers include L. Hunter Lovins of Natural Capitalism speaking about her new book Climate Capitalism and Wal-Mart's Director of Sustainable Facilities, Don Moseley.

Breakout sessions will focus on specific business segments and interests, including a Nashville Sessions series, focusing on best practices and future opportunities in Middle Tennessee.

The Earth Day Leadership Breakfast will include the second annual Waste Management Green Business Leadership Awards.

A full schedule of events and more information can be found at Lipscomb's Green Business Summit pages or contact Kriste Goad at 615.242.8856 or

New for 2011: The summit will be held in collaboration with the Living Well Sustainable Marketplace consumer expo. For more information or to reserve space in the expo, visit Living Well Events

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Nissan Leaf at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show (LHD).

Image via Wikipedia

Nissan says pre-orders for the Leaf electric car will be delayed months longer than expected. Those who signed up to buy last summer, expecting delivery of the car this month or next, may have to wait as long as May or June, a USA Today article reported Saturday.

Apparently Nissan's delivery estimates were more than its single production plant in Japan could handle. Additional production is expected to begin next year at the company's Smyrna, Tenn. plant and at a Sunderland, UK plant in 2013. The Tennessee plant will be capable of producing 150,000 electric cars annually, while the European plant will have an initial annual production capacity of about 50,000 units, according tot he company.

The good news for anyone who pre-ordered: Reuters reports today that Nissan plans to add overtime and holidays at one of its Japanese factories in March to bring production of the Leaf electric car up to full speed. Nissan officials hope to produce a total 10,000 units by the end of March.

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Knoxville -- The Tennessee Valley Authority and the Electric Power Research Institute unveiled an electric vehicle charging station today that include solar panels and batteries to create and store energy and return it to the power grid when needed.

The prototype Smart Modal Area Recharge Terminal, or SMART station, developed by TVA and EPRI is among the first public electric vehicle charging stations with all these features. The station is located at EPRI's Knoxville Research Laboratory.

"Electricity as a transportation fuel can benefit the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and it can save consumers money by lowering their driving costs," said Anda Ray, TVA senior vice president of Environment and Technology.

TVA and EPRI broke ground on the SMART station in June. A second prototype is being built by Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, about 10 miles away. The laboratory and local power companies are partners in the project.

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In November of 2010 Dave Flessner of the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported that Clean Line Energy Partners, a Houston, Texas-based power transmission company, had proposed a $3.5 billion project with TVA to bring power from windmills in Oklahoma and Texas to customers in the Tennessee Valley.

Unfortunately the project needs approval from regulators in multiple states, and has run into some roadblocks.

According to an Associated Press report, regulators in Arkansas denied the company's request for public utility status earlier this month, and a hearing set to begin this week in Oklahoma on the subject has been continued until March.

See our original post on the project for more information.
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Alternative fuel vehicles - photo.jpgEach week, the MotorWeek television show highlights a different vehicle fleet around the nation for its commitment to renewable energy and energy efficiency.

This week, the show will recognize the Knoxville Utilities Board's fleet as a Clean Cities Success Story, highlighting the utility's commitment to being environmentally responsible through its use of alternative fuels and fuel-efficient vehicles.

The KUB fleet includes more than 500 vehicles fueled by biodiesel (B5), hybrid electric technology, CNG, and ethanol (E-10 and E-85).

KUB first began using compressed natural gas in the 1970s and has contined to add other alternative fuel vehicles to the fleet, such as biodiesel and hybrid electric.

"KUB has long held a commitment to being environmentally responsible," said Chris Wilson, transportation department supervisor. "We are pleased that the East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition recommended KUB's fleet as a candidate for the show."

Watch the MotorWeek television show on East Tennessee PBS on Saturday, January 22 at 3:30 p.m. and on Discovery HD Theater's Turbo Tuesday on February 1 at 8 and 11 p.m.

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Brittany Cofer of the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports dozens of local companies have taken advantage of solar incentives from the Tennessee Valley Authority and grants like those from the Tennessee Solar Institute.

Officials estimate projects using federal and state incentives can pay for themselves in as few as five years.

But the state funds that offset 30 percent of the cost have run dry, and the federal grant that covered 40 percent reverted to a tax credit at the beginning of the year, knocking out 70 percent of potential financial help for what is a costly undertaking, said Greenspaces co-director, Jeff Cannon.

With fewer incentives, project payback may stretch to 12 years, he said, which is less attractive to businesses in the current economy.

Read the full story at the Times Free Press.

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Last week, Nashville-based Pathway Lending announced a second round of loans through its Energy Efficiency Loan Program.

The second round of applications opened Tuesday and will remain open until all funds from the Energy Efficiency Loan Program are committed.

The program was launched in August with $50 million in funding. During the first round of applications, which closed Nov. 1, the company received more than $25 million in requests.

The program is available to businesses to invest in efficiency-improvement projects in Tennessee facilities.

To be eligible for a loan, a business must have a complete third-party energy audit, assessment or vendor proposal with detailed project energy savings. These energy savings determine the amount and term of the loan and the applicant's ability to repay the loan with those savings.

Complete information and terms are available at Pathway Lending's website,
From Josh Flory's Property Scope blog:

The Town of Farragut is exploring an interesting idea -- requiring developers to include bike racks on any new commercial projects.

The town's community development director, Ruth Hawk, said Wednesday that racks are already required under the town-center zoning regulations, and that planners typically ask developers on the front end if they would consider including them on projects.
The new requirement will be considered at a meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen on January 13.

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