Gov. Bill Haslam announced extensive energy efficiency projects today that include buying electric cars and reworking several state buildings to reduce energy costs and pollution.
All will be paid for with $26.4 million in
TVA settlement funds.
A new Clean Tennessee Energy Grant
Program, also, is available to local
governments, businesses and other groups
in Tennessee for amounts of up to
“Increasing energy efficiency in state
government will help us be even better
stewards of both taxpayer dollars and our
environment,” Haslam said in an emailed
“These projects will benefit Tennesseans
on both fronts, and I look forward to
implementing additional projects as we
The funding comes the Clean Air Act
settlement with the Tennessee Valley
Authority last April, which also included
money for a few other states.
Tennessee will received $26.4 million over
five years for clean air programs – at about
$5.25 million per year.
In the first year, $2.25 million will go for air
quality grants for local governments,
municipalities, utilities, other organizations
and private entities, the state said.
The other $3 million will fund energy
efficiency projects in state government.
These are the first ones announced:
• Nissan LEAF Purchases – Tennessee will
buy five of the electric cars for the state
fleet and add two charging stations.
Replacing five gas-powered vehicles will
“substantially reduce the emissions that can
cause adverse health conditions due to air
quality non-attainment,” the announcement
That includes reducing volatile organic
compounds and carbon monoxide by 100
percent, sulfur oxides by 75 percent,
nitrogen oxides by 69 percent and particulates by 31 percent.
• Tennessee Tower Window Film – The
Department of General Services will add
reflective film to all outside windows in the
Tennessee Tower, built in 1970. That will
reduce solar radiant heat gain and drop
heating/air conditioning use.
The cost of the film is $610,000, with an
estimated annual energy savings of
$362,000. The project is expected to pay
for itself in less than two years and reduce
greenhouse gas emissions by 2,451 metric
tons per year.
The Tennessee Tower is the largest state
building in Tennessee.
• Tennessee Department of Environment
and Conservation field office – TDEC will
test, adjust and balance the existing
heating and air conditioning at its Nashville
Environmental Field Office to correct
shortcomings and improve energy
efficiency. The project, which costs
$39,000, is estimated to save $11,100 on
energy bills. The project is expected to pay
for itself in about 3.5 years and reduce
greenhouse gas emissions by 80 metric
tons per year.
• Fall Creek Falls State Park Inn and
Conference Center – Tennessee State Parks
will work with Tennessee Tech to install a
heat recovery water heater system at the
inn and Conference center in Pikeville. The
water heater uses a dual cycle heat pump
to scavenge heat from a recirculating
chilled water loop. That is used to heat hot
water, while at the same time providing
additional chilled water capacity. The
project cost is $150,000 and savings each
year are estimated at $73,205. That would
allow payback in about two years and
reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 245
metric tons per year.
• Fall Creek Falls Cabins – Tennessee State
Parks will convert 30 cabins to geothermal
energy at a rate of 10 cabins per year over
three years. The total upfront cost is
$600,000. Estimated annual energy
savings are $88,552, so the project is
expected to pay for itself in just over 6.5
years. Greenhouse gas emissions by 676
metric tons per year.
“In prioritizing projects, we looked at cost
of implementation, energy savings and
emissions reductions,” said TDEC
Commissioner Bob Martineau.
“We will continue to work with the
Department of General Services to look for
projects that maximize energy efficiency within state government, and I hope that others outside of state government will take
part in the grant program so we can
spread these benefits even further.”
In addition to the state government
projects, the Clean Tennessee Energy
Grant Program will provide financial
assistance to local governments, utility
districts and private businesses and
organizations in Tennessee for a variety of
projects using innovative technology to
reduce energy consumption and emissions.
Eligible categories include:
--Cleaner Alternative Energy – biomass,
geothermal, solar, wind
--Energy Conservation – lighting, HVAC
improvements, improved fuel efficiency,
insulation, idling minimization
--Air Quality Improvement – reduction in
greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide, volatile
organic compounds, oxides of nitrogen,
hazardous air pollutants
A total of $2.25 million will be available in
the first round of grants, with the maximum
grant amount per project set at $250,000.
Grant applications are available on TDEC’s
website and will be accepted until March
30. Recipients are expected to be
announced by mid-May.