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January 2012 Archives

The Technical Society of Knoxville will focus on solar at its next meeting, 11:30 a.m. Monday, February 6 at the Crowne Plaza in downtown Knoxville.

Steve Levy will present "Solar Photovoltaic Opportunities and Case Studies for the TVA Region." Levy is technical director of the Tennessee Solar Energy Association and has 35 years of experience in electric power generation.

Professional Development credit is available for this event. For information call 865-690-0705.
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The city of Knoxville reports it reached the goal, and current limit, of 20,000 signups for its new curbside recycling program in December.

The program has been active for less than a year.

"We are very pleased with the response of our citizens to this program," says David Brace, the city's director of public service. "With 20,000 sign-ups, that means that one-third of the City's households are participating."

Since the first of October, initial participating households hvae recycled more than 1,200 tons of waste, said John Homa, city solid waste manager.

Several thousand more carts will be delivered in February to those who signed up after the initial August 14 deadline.

The Tennessee Valley Authority has added new renewable wind power sources to its powergrid in January.

"Delivery of power from these contracts and others expected to be activated in the near future will enable TVA to continue advancing towards its vision to become one of the nation's leaders in clean energy by 2020," said John Trawick, TVA senior vice president for Commercial Operations and Pricing, in a press release.

The four wind farms will add 535 megawatts, bringing TVA's total wind energy to 950 megawatts,  or more than 3 million megawatt hours annually, the organization said. 

The new sources:
--201 megawatts comes from ENEL Green Power's Caney River wind farm in Elk County, Kan.  
--150 megawatts from NextEra Energy Resources' White Oak Energy Center in McLean County, Ill.  
---101 megawatts from EDP Renewables North America's Lost Lakes wind farm in Dickinson County, Iowa.

In addition, EDP Renewables' Pioneer Prairie site in Howard and Mitchell counties, Iowa -- which began producing wind energy for TVA in 2010 -- has increased output an additional 83 megawatts.


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sIMG_1774.jpgWacker Polysilicon has progressed to vertical construction at its site in Charleston, Tenn.  The three largest buildings of the plant 
are now moving upward with the installation of precast walls.

The precast buildings are fully enclosed production facilities.  More than 5,000 precast components will be used to build these facilities, with 1,800 already installed.  More than 30 buildings are planned for the site.

Ground preparation for the site began Dec. 2010. So far, more than 4 million cubic yards of dirt have been moved.

On an average full day, there are approximately 700 construction workers on the Charleston site.

The $1.5 billion plant is scheduled for completion in late 2013 with production beginning in 2014. It will  produce around 15,000 metric tons of polysilicon for solar cells and employ some 650 full time workers. 

Wacker Polysilicon is division of Wacker Chemie AG 











Construction at the Wacker Chemie polysilicon plant near Cleveland Tennessee. Submitted.
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Clayton Homes has announced that all manufactured homes it builds locally will qualify for the Energy Star label thanks to an energy efficiency cash incentive of $1,450 per home from TVA.

TVA pays the incentive directly to producers of new manufactured homes to offset most added costs of building Energy Star homes.

Energy Star homes can lower electric bills by $70 a month on average, TVA said.

Since 2002, only about 150 Energy Star manufactured homes have been located in Tennessee. Under the new program, Clayton Homes projects an additional 2,200 Energy Star homes in the TVA region this year. 

The Systems Building Research Alliance, the research arm for the factory-built housing industry and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's national quality assurance oversight agent for the manufactured and modular home Energy Star programs, helped TVA and Clayton identify ways to grow the program and will help manage it.

Only electrically-heated homes with a heat pump are eligible for TVA incentives. The manufacturer must also meet stringent thermal envelope requirements and install other energy efficiency features. Features can include efficient heating and cooling systems, lighting and appliances, and high-performance windows, insulation systems and construction systems to reduce leaks and drafts. 
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English: Three converted Prius Plug-In Hybrids...

Image via Wikipedia

Out of town visitors and local travelers in the Knoxville area now have more fueling options for their Electric Vehicles. Four Knoxville area hotels operated by Kana Hotel Group have installed eight charging stations positioned in preferred parking spaces.

With installations completed, you can now charge your vehicle at:
Hampton Inn Lenoir City -585 Ft. Loudon Medical Center Dr., Lenoir City 37772
Holiday Inn Express Knoxville - East - 730 Rufus Graham Road, Knoxville 37924  
Hampton Inn Knoxville - East 7445 Sawyer Road, Knoxville 37924
Holiday Inn Express & Suites - 111 Hillvale Road, Clinton 37716  

"We worked with ECOtality to install Level 2 charging stations at four of our Knoxville area hotels.  Providing travelers green fueling options as they visit Knoxville is the next step in our sustainability efforts. Aside from Knoxville, we have also installed them at our two Nashville area locations," said Kevin Mahoney, president of Kana Hotel Group, in a press release.


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