Teaching Your Children About Energy…. with the Government Leading the Way With Your Dollars

News and Events:
  • TDEC OEP Hosts Energy Education Camp for K-12 Educators
  • Urban Runoff 5k Celebrates Green Stormwater Management
  • TDEC Announces 2018 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award Winners
  • ORNL Unveils World’s Fastest, Most Powerful Scientific Supercomputer
  • First Smart Neighborhood of its Kind in the Southeast
Technical Assistance, Incentives, and Funding Opportunities: 
  • American-Made Solar Prize Program Announced
Upcoming Events and Activities: 
  • 2018 National Energy Codes Conference
  • Energy Programs for Teachers
  • IACMI Summer 2018 Members Meeting
  • TenneSEIA Solar Conference
Resources and Guides: 
  • U.S. Solar Market Insight
  • Evaluation Finds Building America Research Has Saved Millions for American Homeowners
  • Impact of the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse

TDEC OEP Hosts Energy Education Camp for K-12 Educators
This week, TDEC’s Office of Energy Programs (OEP) hosted the 2018 Energy Education Camp for K-12 Educators at Paris Landing State Park. The three-day camp provided educators with information and resources needed to teach on topics related to energy and energy conservation in the classroom and showed them how to involve students in service learning projects that promote environmental stewardship. Participating educators were provided with energy-related classroom materials valued at $200.
OEP’s K-12 energy education program seeks to build content knowledge tied to the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects and encourage educators to inspire their students to pursue career paths in energy and related fields. For more information regarding this program, please contact Angela McGee atAngela.McGee@tn.gov or 615-532-7816.
Urban Runoff 5k Celebrates Green Stormwater Management
Nashville’s Metro Water Services, the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC), and the Tennessee Stormwater Association (TNSA) have teamed up to host the Urban Runoff 5k run in Nashville onAugust 18. The run is being held in Shelby Park and will weave its way past several innovative stormwater management structures. The race will be chip-timed and held in rain or shine. To volunteer for the run, click here. For additional details or to register, click here. Registration for the race will cost $30.
TDEC Announces 2018 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award Winners
Last month, Governor Bill Haslam and TDEC Commissioner Shari Meghreblian announced the winners of the 2018 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards. Winners will be recognized for their achievements and positive impact in an awards ceremony in Franklin on July 9, 2018. The awards recognize exceptional voluntary actions that improve or protect our environment and natural resources with projects or initiatives not required by law or regulation. Click here to see a full list of winners.
Several of the 2018 winners, summarized here, were recognized for their improvements in energy efficiency and/or renewable energy adoption. Of note, the Crosstown Concourse project in the City of Memphis was selected as a GESA recipient. In 2015, TDEC OEP worked with the City of Memphis to support the bond issuance of $8,316,000 in Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs) for this project as part of the City’s Green Communities Program. The Crosstown Concourse is a LEED Platinum certified mixed use building that houses 265 apartments, a charter high school, a YMCA, performing arts theater, artist residency studios, and other retail and office space. Through the use of QECBs, this project was able to support installation of energy efficient retrofits and technologies (e.g., efficient HVAC, exhaust fans and ventilation, windows, lighting, etc.) within the building. These energy efficient retrofits have helped the developer realize more than $250,000 in capital cost savings, in addition to reduced life cycle costs of well over $1.3 million over a 20 year time frame.
For more information on the project, click here
ORNL Unveils World’s Fastest, Most Powerful Scientific Supercomputer
Earlier this month, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) unveiled Summit, a new supercomputer capable of up to 200,000 trillion calculations per second. Summit will be eight times more powerful than America’s current top-ranked system, Titan, which is also housed at ORNL. Summit will provide unprecedented computing power for research in energy, advanced materials, and artificial intelligence (AI). The supercomputer is so powerful that it has the ability to compute 30 years’ worth of data saved on a desktop computer in just one hour! 
Summit will be open for use by select projects this year while ORNL and IBM work through the acceptance process for the machine. In 2019, the bulk of access to the IBM system will go to research teams selected through U.S. DOE’s Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program. Click here to learn more.
First Smart Neighborhood of its Kind in the Southeast
Alabama Power’s Smart Neighborhood is nearly complete, bringing together 62 high-performance, connected homes and a community microgrid in suburban Birmingham. U.S. DOE’s Building Technologies Office (BTO) has been working with Alabama Power, their parent company Southern Company, ORNL, and U.S. DOE’s Office of Electricity to develop and deploy this transactive microgrid approach. The homes built in this community are all built according to high-efficiency construction techniques and are rated with a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score between 40 and 50, which means that they are 50-60% more efficient than a standard new home. High-performance homes not only save energy; thanks to improved insulation and indoor air quality, these homes can also be more comfortable for homeowners and residents. All of the homes in the neighborhood have been sold, and half of them are already occupied. Additionally, the homes are connected as a neighborhood-level microgrid, which includes solar photovoltaic (PV), a battery storage system, and natural gas-fired power generation. ORNL is developing novel control strategies using BTO’s transactive control platform (known as VOLTTRON) to achieve grid-responsive control of the loads in these homes. 
American-Made Solar Prize Program Announced
The American-Made Challenge program is designed to reenergize innovation in U.S. manufacturing and to incentivize the nation’s entrepreneurs to reassert American leadership in the energy marketplace. U.S. DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have officially launched the program’s first challenge, a $3 million competition called the American-Made Solar Prize. The program is organized through three progressive prize competitions, Ready! Set! and Go! Competitors must:
  • Identify an important solar design problem you want to solve
  • Submit a 90-second video describing your challenge and proposed solution, team, and plan
  • Answer a short, four-question narrative and make a slide about this problem or challenge
  • Submit a two-page technical assistance request
  • Update your videos and statements as you advance through the contests.
Competitors must submit their initial Ready! ideas here by October 2, 2018 to be officially entered in the contest process. Sign up for updates on the prize competitions at https://www.herox.com/SolarPrizeClick here to register for an informational webinar on July 11 at 4:00 PM EST.
2018 National Energy Codes Conference
The 2018 National Energy Codes Conference (NECC) will take place in Austin, Texas on July 15-17. This year’s NECC will offer a pre-conference Energy Codes Bootcamp as well as building tour field trips for conference attendees. The NECC will feature various sessions on building energy codes and related topics such as building sciences, the Energy Rating Index, existing buildings challenges, air quality and water nexus with codes, and the future of building codes with regard to the advancements of electric vehicles, energy storage, and solar technologies. A preliminary agenda is now available. Visit the NECC website to register.
Energy Programs for Teachers
NREL’s Visiting Faculty Program (VFP) seeks to increase the research competitiveness of faculty members and their students at institutions historically underrepresented in the research community in order to expand the workforce vital to U.S. DOE mission areas. As part of the program, selected university/college faculty members collaborate with U.S. DOE laboratory research staff on a research project of mutual interest. Faculty member participants may invite up to two students (one of which may be a graduate student) to participate in hands-on research at NREL during the summer. For more information about the program, contact Linda Lung.
NREL’s Energy Institute for Teachers is a five-day workshop (July 16-20, 2018) that offers educators lessons and resources to integrate renewable energy and energy efficiency components into existing courses in subjects ranging from chemistry and physics to biology and environmental sciences. During the week-long workshop, teachers participate in a variety of activities tied to NREL research including:
  • Building and testing wind turbine blades with multi-meters and water pumps
  • Testing solar panel voltage curves with rheostats and multimeters
  • Determining the optimum form of lighting based on the bulb’s brightness, cost, and power requirements
  • Chemically producing biodiesel fuel and performing quality control viscosity tests
Teachers interested in applying should contact Linda Lung
The REcharge Academy is a week-long renewable energy training workshop that provides unique opportunities for educators to learn about wind and solar power. The training blends lectures from experts and tours of energy facilities with replicable, hands-on K-12 lessons to give educators classroom content as well as energy context. After successfully completing an Academy training, attendees become REcharge Instructors and are certified to teach REcharge programs in their own areas. Scholarships are available for interested attendees. The next REcharge Academy training will take place in Harrisonburg, Virginia from July 23-27. To register for the training, click here.
IACMI Summer 2018 Members Meeting
The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) will hold isSummer 2018 Members Meeting in Knoxville from July 24-27. The meeting will showcase the innovative capabilities of IACMI’s Tennessee partners, including the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The meeting will highlight advancements in all IACMI technology areas, member successes, technical project updates, workforce development initiatives, and much more. Attendees can network with IACMI members, discuss IACMI project advancements, and tour several IACMI facilities in the area. Register for the Summer 2018 Members Meeting, and book a hotel room at the Knoxville Hilton by July 2, 2018, to secure the group rate. A detailed agenda will be available soon.
TenneSEIA Solar Conference
The Tennessee Solar Energy Industries Association (TenneSEIA) is the state affiliate for the national Solar Energy Industries Association and represents the interest of the solar energy industry in Tennessee. The mission of TenneSEIA is to make solar energy a mainstream energy source and to realize the full potential of the solar industry in Tennessee. TenneSEIA recently announced that it would host a Solar Conference on November 7, 2018 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton in Murfreesboro. The purpose of the conference is to bring together solar advocates and adopters to discuss strategies, market trends, and policies that impact the Tennessee Valley solar industry. Click here to learn more and to register. 

U.S. Solar Market Insight
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) recently released its U.S. Solar Market Insight report. According to the report, the U.S. installed 2.5 gigawatts (GW) of solar PV capacity in Q1 2018 to reach 55.9 GW of total installed capacity, enough to power 10.7 million American homes. This represents a 13% increase year-over-year in solar capacity. Total installed U.S. capacity is expected to more than double over the next five years, and by 2023, over 14 GW of solar PV capacity will be installed annually.
Evaluation Finds Building America Research Has Saved Millions for American Homeowners
The Building America Program conducts applied research, development, and deployment in residential buildings. Building America projects are led by U.S. DOE national laboratories and expert building science teams in partnership with leading industry players (e.g., builders, contractors, and manufacturers). U.S. DOE’s Building Technologies Office (BTO) recently released Evaluation of Building America and Selected Building Energy Codes Program Activities, a retrospective benefit-cost analysis conducted by Industrial Economics that quantifies the impact of selected Building America activities in the new residential construction market. Findings from the evaluation showed that Building America’s efforts reduced America’s energy costs and improved its environmental health by a combined $875 million over the past 10 years, at a total program cost of only $162 million. Read more about the energy savings on BTO’s blog.
Impact of the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse
Last August, parts of the U.S. experienced a total solar eclipse, the first-of-its-kind in nearly a century. Researchers from U.S. DOE’s SETO and NREL partnered with Peak Reliability to evaluate the impact of the 2017 solar eclipse on grid reliability and operations. Through research and simulations conducted in Pacific and Mountain Time zones prior to the event, the team was able to a estimate the amount of solar energy that would be lost due to the eclipse and predict how other generators would be re-dispatched to compensate for the loss of solar. It is estimated that the drop in utility-scale PV was between 4 and 6.5 GW at the peak of the eclipse, with the overall loss of energy between 5.5 and 11 GWh. Estimations from the pre-eclipse analysis are now confirmed to match the observed energy loss. Read the study here.
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