An environmental resource for East Tennessee Businesses

January 2013 Archives


Chattanooga is now home to the biggest solar installation in Tennessee and for a U.S. auto factory.

That's according to Volkswagen, which powered up its 9.5 MW solar park at the Chattanooga location last week.

The system will provide 12.5 percent of the already LEED Platinum-certified  plant's electricity. That jumps to 100 percent during non-production periods, according to the automaker.

The Volkswagen Chattanooga Solar Park occupies 33 acres, or half of the 66-acre land parcel adjacent to VW's state-of-the-art manufacturing plant. The solar park contains 33,600 solar modules from JA Solar designed to produce 13.1 gigawatt hours of electricity per year -- equivalent to the energy consumed annually by around 1,200 homes in the area. 

The solar installation is part of VW's "Think Blue" initiative for all Volkswagen plants to achieve more efficient use of energy, materials and water and produce less waste and emissions, said Frank Fischer, CEO and chairman of Volkswagen Group of America.

Photo: From left to right: Dr. Andreas Haenel, Phoenix Solar AG/ Jim Coppinger, Mayor Hamilton County/ Frank Fischer, Volkswagen Chattanooga/Matt Kisber, Silicon Ranch/ Ron Littlefield, Mayor Chattanooga/Wolfram Thomas, Volkswagen AG/ Dr. Murray Cameron, Phoenix. Photo courtesy of Volkswagen.
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Bonaroo goes solar with fans' help


A permanent solar array has been installed at Bonaroo for 2013. Event organizers say it will fund almost 20 percent of the festival's electricity.

Earlier this month, Bonaroo representatives announced the installstion of the 50kw solar system

It's the first permanent solar array for a music festival, according to local firm Sustainable Future and Vermont-based Encore Redevelopment, both of whom worked on the install.

The system includes 196 panels mounted to the roof of a metal structure in the festival's back stage area.

Photos submitted/Kaleidoscope Media

Bonaroo's solar system will generate more than 61,000 kWh per year and is already collecting power in advance of the festival.

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Under a pilot program starting this month, KUB small business customers can receive a free lighting assessment with recommendations to improve lighting efficiency and lower energy costs.

TVA's MainStreet Efficiency program is open to customers with energy demands of no more than 50 kilowatts.

Lighting upgrades could include replacement of existing fluorescent fixtures with higher efficiency lamps and ballasts; changing incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or Light Emitting Diode (LEDs) lights; and upgrading exit signs to LED technology. 

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Get ready to be impressed and inspired. This week the Greater Knoxville Business Journal released its annual list of the top 40 professionals under age 40 in East Tennessee.  Several members of this group are making strides in climate change, sustainability, energy efficiency and the local food movement.

Check out their profiles after the jump.

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GoGreenET is now accepting applications for the 2013 Green Business Recognition Program.

Each year we recognize area businesses for improving their sustainability through environmentally friendly practices and policies.

Green Achievers and Outstanding Achievements are noted in Recycling/Waste Reduction; Energy Efficiency; Renewable Energy and Community Outreach categories.  They will be recognized in the Greater Knoxville Business Journal's green issue in May 2013, at our website and at the Knoxville Chamber's Business After Hours program in May. Additionally, Outstanding achievements will be profiled in the Business Journal.

Has your company started or increased its recycling? Switched to energy efficient lighting? Formed a green practices committee? All these and more qualify -- and we want to hear about it!

Applications for the 2013 Green Business Recognition Program will be accepted through March 25. Download and start filling out the <a href="" target="_blank" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','Download','PDF',this.href]);">GoGreen Business Recognition Survey</a>&nbsp;now.

For some examples, check out all our previous honorees and Outstanding Achievement features at the GoGreenET Achievers page.

Still have questions? <a href=" Survey questions">Email us!</a>

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2016 listed from newest to oldest.

October 2016 is the previous archive.

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