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October 2011 Archives

ECOtality and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store today unveiled the first Blink Direct Current Fast Charger in Tennessee at the Lebanon Cracker Barrel. 

This is the first of 12 Cracker Barrel locations statewide that will install DC Fast Chargers as a part of The EV Project. The stations are able to charge a battery to 80 percent capacity in under 30 minutes--the fastest charge rate currently available.

"By strategically placing Blink charging stations, we are collecting the data needed to build a commercial infrastructure which will untether drivers from their garages," said Jonathan Read, CEO of ECOtality. "We identified destination locations like Cracker Barrel as ideal for charging stations--places where people can grab a meal, charge up and go."

ECOtality worked closely with Cracker Barrel during the site selection process, and took into account factors ranging from traffic patterns, retail destinations and input from other regional partners. "The Tennessee Triangle," a 425-mile stretch of interstate highway connecting Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga, is the ideal location for Cracker Barrel's 12 DC Fast Chargers, which are well suited for high-traffic commercial locations and major transportation corridors.

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Tennessee is becoming an energy efficiency leader in the Southeast said Michael Sciortino of the American Council for an Energy Efficient economy in a recent story by Nicole Young in the Tennessean.

Tennessee has been named one of the six most improved states for energy efficiency, according to the fifth annual State Energy Efficiency Scorecard released Thursday by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

Tennessee is ranked 30 in the U.S., up five spots from last year's ranking. Tennessee scored 18.5 points out of 50 on the scorecard.

Points are given for
-- utility and public benefits programs and policies; 
-- transportation policies; building energy codes; 
-- combined heat and power; 
-- state government initiatives; and 
-- appliance efficiency standards.

Read more at the Tennessean.
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The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development today announced it will accept applications for a third round of Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants starting this week. 

The department has previously awarded $12.1 million in grants to 135 communities throughout the state to implement energy efficient projects.   

The grants will be used to fund a variety of energy efficiency and conservation programs in the local communities, including retrofits to lighting and HVAC systems, as well as the installation of renewable energy systems. 

 Applications will be scored on the local government's overall conservation strategy, project feasibility, readiness to proceed, community impact, partnerships and the ability to extend funding impact beyond a one-time use. 

Applications will be accepted and scored on a first-come, first-served basis until the funds are depleted. Previous recipients of the EECBG grants are not eligible. 

For more information and to apply for a grant visit the department's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants website

The EECBG program is projected to cumulatively produce more than 92 million kWh of energy savings annually, resulting in an estimated cost-savings of $8 million per year for Tennessee communities.  The EECBG program is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act


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Some Knoxville-area homes and businesses using solar technology will open their doors Saturday as part of the American Solar Energy Society's National  Solar Tour.

The event will be 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. starting at the Knoxville Station Transit Center, 301 E. Church Ave., with a Solar 101 presentation and a weatherization presentation.

Presentations will be followed at 10:15 a.m. by a bus tour of local homes and industries using solar.  Maps for a separate self-guided tour will be available at the Market Square Farmer's Market.

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Wampler's Farm Sausage Co. will unveil its new 500kw solar photovoltaic system on Friday in Lenoir City.

The $2.4 million system is the company's second solar project. The first, a 28kw system, was installed in 2009.

When incorporating the new 500kW system, the company made an effort to use products manufactured in Tennessee, including those from Sharp Solar, AGC Flat glass, Efficient Energy of Tennessee and Shoals Technology Group.  

The financing for the project was provided by the Tennessee Group of United Community Bank and USDA, Rural Development's Rural Energy for America Program.

At the ribbon cutting ceremony the USDA will be awarding the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grants.  Wampler's will be receiving the largest REAP grant ever awarded in the state of Tennessee in the amount of $250,000.  

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