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July 2011 Archives

The Tennessee 25x'25 State Alliance, in association with the University of Tennessee's Center for Renewable Carbon, will host the Tennessee 25x'25 Renewable Energy Forum Thursday, July 21, from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., in Rooms 156-157 of the Plant Biotechnology Building at 2505 E. J. Chapman Drive, on the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture campus in Knoxville.

Forum participants will examine the economic impacts associated with the use of energy crops, agricultural and forestry residues, and other clean, renewable energy technologies in the state.

Featured speakers at the event:

--Commissioner of Agriculture Julius Johnson, who will provide an overview of Tennessee agriculture's role in renewable energy
--Dr. Stuart Thomas, VP of Technology and Licensing with DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol, who will give an update of the firm's commercialization progress.
--Dr. Steven Bares, of the Memphis Bioworks Foundation will discuss development of markets for biobased products.
--Dr. David Millhorn, University of Tennessee, will discuss the school's alternative energy research initiatives.

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Pellissippi State Community College will implement a new fee for fall semester with the blessing of its students. Proceeds will be used to invest in more sustainable practices on campus. It is the first community college in the state to implement a sustainability fee.

The new fee was voted on by the student body in 2010. Three-fourths of respondents voted yes. Students will pay an extra $10 per semester.

Pellissippi already has several environmental projects underway and was recognized in 2010 with the Governor's Environmental Stewardship Award for projects including recycling collection, green course offerings and sustainable building practices at the new Blount County campus. The new fee will give those practices long-term support and sustainability, officials say, not an easy prospect for an institution where students live off campus and usually stay only two years.

A committee of students, faculty and staff will decide how the money is spent. Some ideas being proposed are buying recycling barrels for the other campuses, upgrading our lighting to be more energy-efficient and installing solar panels on campus, according to Terry Martin, a recent student recycling coordinator.
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Knoxville's Crowne Plaza hotel is the first commercial site in the city to install a vehicle charging station as part of the state's EV Project.

ECOtality's EV Project is teaming up with Knoxville's Crowne Plaza hotel and Nissan USA today to unveil the first of 12 charging station sites in the Knoxville area, reports Laura Vela in the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Representatives from the organizations will introduce the station in the hotel's parking garage and demonstrate how it works.

The charging station will have two chargers and use will be free to customers of the hotel. Other users will pay $8.

More sites with charging stations in the works:
--Knoxville solar firm Sustainable Future
-- Johnson Family of Restaurants in Sevier County
--Pilot Corp.
-- BP
-- Cracker Barrel
-- town of Farragut parks
--University of Tennessee.

Stephanie Cox, Tennessee-area manager for ECOtality, said Knoxville has the most planned municipal charging stations in the state.

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Knoxville is a hot spot for jobs in the green economy, according to a new Brookings Institute study, "Sizing the Clean Economy: A National and Regional Jobs Assessment."

The report used data from 2003 to 2010 from every county in the United States to explore the size, growth, and geography of the "clean" or green economy through statistics including wages, employment, growth and more.
clean job growth us.jpg
According to the report, Knoxville ranked No. 1 in growth of green jobs among the top 100 metro areas nationally, with jobs growing by 14.6% annually between 2003 and 2010. Knoxville added nearly 10,000 jobs in that time, ranking it 11th by number of jobs added.

Knoxville boasts more than 16,000 clean economy jobs ranking it 31st among the 100 largest metro areas for job numbers, but those add up to 4.9 percent of all jobs in the region. On this measure of concentration its clean economy ranks 2nd overall.

Where are the jobs?

The biggest industries for green jobs are Professional energy services, remediation, professional environmental services, waste management and treatment and recycling. Professional energy services is also the fastest growing segment, adding more than 8,000 jobs from 2003-2010..

Pay for these new jobs compares very favorably with other jobs in the area. The estimated median wage in Knoxville's clean economy is $45,184. This compares to $32,860 for all jobs in Knoxville.

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A tentative list of charging station locations has been proposed for the Knoxville area, according to Laura Vela in today's News Sentinel.

A letter of estimate from Broadway Electric Service Corp. in Nashville contains a list of the proposed charger locations as part of ECOtality's EV Project.

According to the letter, the possible locations are McGhee Tyson Airport, the Civic Coliseum, Ijams Nature Park, Lakeshore Park, Tyson Park, West Hills Park, Victor Ashe Park, Caswell Park, the Fort Kid and Knoxville Museum of Art parking lot, Dwight Kessel Garage, the Volunteer Landing lot, the Locust Street Garage, an Old City lot off Jackson Avenue, the Market Square Garage and the State Street Garage.

McGhee Tyson Airport, the Civic Coliseum, Caswell Park, and the Dwight Kessel, Locust Street, Market Square, and State Street garages would be receiving the EV Project's wall chargers, according to the report from Broadway Electric.

The other tentative locations would install pedestal charging stations.

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