Monday, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced the city of Oak Ridge is receiving $200,000 in Clean Tennessee Energy Grant funding to replace and retrofit existing fluorescent lighting fixtures to LED lighting in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building and the Oak Ridge Civic Center Complex.
“I am proud to see this commitment at the local level to implement innovative technology and improve efficiency.“The Oak Ridge project highlights local efforts across the state to save taxpayers’ dollars as we continue our work to make Tennessee the best place to live, work and raise a family,” Haslam said.
The Clean Tennessee Energy project in Oak Ridge will enhance the actual lighting, while saving electricity and making the buildings more energy efficient. The estimate reduction in electric energy is approximately 250,000 kWh per year, which is equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from 147 passenger vehicles, carbon dioxide emissions from 78,998 gallons of gasoline consumed, and carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity use of 105 homes for one year.
The June 17 announcement marks the first of 19 Clean Tennessee Energy Grant awards Gov. Haslam will be making in the coming weeks, in coordination with the Department of Environment and Conservation. The funding will benefit energy efficiency projects for local governments and municipalities, utilities, and other private and public organizations across Tennessee. Efforts across the state are designed to reduce air emissions, improve energy efficiency and create cost savings. The grant program provides financial assistance to state and local government agencies, utility districts, and quasi-government entities in Tennessee to purchase, install and construct energy projects.
Funding for the projects comes from an April 2011 Clean Air Act settlement with the Tennessee Valley Authority. Under the Consent Decree, Tennessee will receive $26.4 million over five years to fund clean air programs in the state (at approximately $5.25 million per year). As part of the grant program’s initial offering, a total of $5.3 million in Clean Energy Grants was awarded in 2012 to a variety of projects within state government, municipalities, utilities, state colleges and universities and communities throughout the state.
Eligible categories of the Clean Tennessee Energy Grant Program included:
- 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
The maximum grant amount per project is $250,000 and requires a match from the applicant. Grant recipients were chosen based on the careful consideration to meet the selection criteria and for those projects that expressed the greatest need. To learn more about the Clean Tennessee Energy Grant and future grants, please visit www.tn.gov/environment/energygrants/or contact Kathy Glapa at (615) 253-8780 or Kathy.Glapa@tn.gov.