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University of Tennessee team wins $622K solar grant

Seal of the United States Department of Energy.

A University of Tennessee-led partnership is one of 22 teams nationwide awarded Rooftop Solar Challenge Grants by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The UT group, which includes TVA, the city of Knoxville, KUB and three other cities and their associated electricity providers, received $622,960 to work with local officials to streamline the permitting, planning, zoning and connection processes for solar installations in Tennessee.

The group also plans to develop a smartphone application that will simplify the application process for individuals and companies interested in installing solar technology.

In addition to the city of Knoxville and the Knoxville Utilities Board, the UT-led group includes Nashville, Franklin and Memphis as well as the Nashville Electric Service, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Coop and Memphis Light, Gas and Water. 

The UT initiative is one of three organizations in the Southeastern United States to receive the awards.

The Solar Challenge Grants are part of the DOE's SunShot Initiative, "a collaborative national effort to make solar cost-competitive with other forms of energy by the end of the decade," according to a DOE grant.

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