An environmental resource for East Tennessee Businesses

July 2013 Archives

When funding for the state's $70 million investment in the Tennessee Biofuels Initiative ended last summer, Genera Energy LLC -- created as part of the initiative by the University of Tennessee and the state -- was spun off as Genera Energy Inc. The new commercial company is focused on supplying biomass to biofuels producers.

At next week's meeting of the Technical Society of Knoxville, Kelly Tiller, Genera's president and CEO will discuss the biofuels industry in her presentation "From Crops to Fuels to Markets: Growing a Commercial Biofuels Industry in Tennessee."

For more information call Bob Scott at 690-0705 or go to http://www.technicalsociety.net

In April, the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization presented its plan for a greenway connecting Townsend to Maryville, Alcoa and even Knoxville.

Linking Knox and Blount counties via a greenway route from Knoxville to Townsend is the overall goal. Officials admit that is an ambitious project with possible obstacles of topography, streams and structures.

For now, planners are tackling smaller projects along the way.

Next Tuesday, July 23, the Knoxville Regional TPO, Great Smoky Mountains Regional Greenway Council and their Blount County partners will be holding two open houses to share draft plans to link the Maryville and Townsend greenway trails.

An open house will be presented in both Townsend and Maryville.

--Townsend open house: 4-5:30 p.m. July 23rd at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center, 123 Cromwell Drive, Townsend

--Maryville open house: 6:30-8 p.m. July 23rd at the Maryville Municipal Building, 416 W. Broadway Avenue, Maryville

Attendees are asked to review the plans and offer comments and suggestions.

Other organizations participating in the greenway plan are local governments in Blount County and a Technical Advisory Committee with representatives from the City of Alcoa, Blount County, the City of Maryville, the City of Townsend, the Maryville-Alcoa-Blount County Parks & Recreation Commission, the Blount Partnership, the TPO, and TDOT.

For more information visit knoxblounttrail.org.

In case you missed it, here's a a glance at some energy-related kudos and events news for our area in the last couple of weeks:


--The city of Knoxville and contractor Ameresco celebrated the Knoxville Convention Center's achievement of LEED Silver certification on June 28.

The Knoxville Convention Center is the first convention center in Tennessee to receive LEED through its green initiatives.

Ameresco installed the convention center's 120-kilowatt rooftop solar photovoltaic system. Other energy efficiency efforts included new energy efficient boilers, a 30-ton air cooled chiller, window film, a new domestic hot water system and lighting systems to reduce the center's carbon footprint and make the building more sustainable.

"The Convention Center is committed to being a facility that takes the environmental impact of its operations seriously, and our sustainable practices are intricately woven into our everyday operations," said General Manager Mary Bogert in a press release.

--The Tennessee Solar Energy Industries Association continued calls for TVA to change how it handles solar incentives.

The organization urged changes after the early closure this year of TVA's solar rebate program. Discussion led TVA to add 2.5MW capacity to Green Power Providers effective August 1. TenneSEIA is asking for an additional 2.5MW to be added in October.

related:
http://www.solarindustrymag.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.12885


--Campbell County Schools plan to raise funds with solar panels on school roofs.
Campbell County school officials hope to generate $1 million over the next 20 years by installing solar panels on the district's 12 schools. The 50 kilowatt systems would sell power to TVA.
Solar installation company Efficient Energy of Tennessee developed the idea with the county's finance department.

--ORNL names Ramamoorthy Ramesh as new research chief.
Rammoorthy recently served as director of the SunShot Initiative, a federal program designed to make solar energy cost-competitive.
His research includes material studies of thin films, including those used in solar panels.

--Tennessee-based solar company Silicon Ranch has partnered with Germany's Phoenix Solar AG to build a 38MW solar farm in Georgia.

It will be the state's largest. Silicon Ranch is a solar energy company cofounded by former Gov. Phil Bredesen.

--Mary Shaffer Gill of ARiES Energy will speak to the National Association of Women Business Owners in Nashville on July 25.
She will discuss challenges and opportunities ingrowing an energy-related business. This luncheon will focus on energy efficiency, where leaders in business, energy and manufacturing sectors will discuss energy management best practices, experiences with renewable energy projects and the challenges and opportunities for energy-related businesses.

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