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TN energy efficiency is the target of $26.4 million in TVA settlement funds

Published at: Jan 12, 2012
source: The Tennessean

published by

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 
, 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 
move forward.”

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 
and will be accepted until March 
30. Recipients are expected to be 
announced by mid-May.

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