An environmental resource for East Tennessee Businesses

Three Rivers adds solar to its array of energy saving technology

When moving into it's new home, the owners of Three Rivers Market made energy efficiency and sustainability a priority.

Much of the old building was reused and new portions incorporated energy-conserving materials inside and out. Three Rivers has also long participated in TVA's Green Power Switch program, purchasing renewable energy.

As of June of this year, the co-op will also participate in TVA's Green Power Providers program, and generate some of its own power with new 50 kilowat solar panel installation on its roof.

The system will supply about 10 percent of the store's energy needs and will take approximately 12 years to pay for itself. Afterwards, the co-op estimates it will provide $75,000 to $130,000, a potential 10 percent return on investment. The system also takes advantage of a 30 percent federal tax credit.

Aries Energy of Lenoir City installed the system's 344 modules, which officially went live June 21. It took more than a week to install. More photos of the project are available at

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