U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm visits Tennessee
- On Tuesday, December 5, 2023, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm will travel to Tennessee to meet with Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Leadership and local officials and energy leaders, showcasing the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic investments in clean energy in the South.
- During this visit, the Secretary will visit the Clinch River Nuclear Site to highlight the importance of advanced nuclear technologies — a vital tool to reach the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of a net-zero emissions by 2050.
Strengthening Tennessee’s Economy
- In 2022, there were already 209,951 Tennessee workers employed in the energy sector.
- Across the state, more than 83% of the electric power generation workforce was in wind, solar, and hydroelectric, and more than 50,017 workers were employed in energy efficiency.
- The Inflation Reduction Act will expand these opportunities, bringing an estimated $900 million of investment in large-scale clean power generation and storage to Tennessee between now and 2030.
- Tennessee is home to 653,000 small businesses, representing 99.5% of all businesses and employing 42% of all workers in the state, and the Inflation Reduction Act will help them save money. Commercial building owners can receive a tax credit up to $5 per square foot to support energy efficiency improvements that deliver lower utility bills. Other programs that will benefit small businesses include tax credits covering 30% of the costs of installing low-cost solar power and of purchasing clean trucks and vans for commercial fleets.
CLEAN ENERGY INVESTMENTS
- Currently, Tennessee has 561 MW of solar and wind capacity, along with 2.5 GW of hydroelectric capacity and 5 GW of nuclear capacity. There is over 580 MW of additional planned solar energy capacity in the works in the state, which will more than double the amount of renewables available on the state’s grid and power the equivalent more than 83,000 additional homes.
- Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) tax credits that encourage investment in wind and solar will help reduce energy costs, as the costs of solar and wind power are projected to drop by 23% and 34%, respectively, over the next 30 years in Tennessee.
- Since the start of the Biden Administration, we have tracked more than $150 billion in new battery and electric vehicle supply chain investment announcements, including 23 facilities in Tennessee, adding up to over $15 billion in planned investment and over 12,600 jobs.
- Tennessee currently has over 1,700 EV charging ports. The state is also receiving over $18.8 million in federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help build out more EV charging stations.
- In 2022, Tennessee had 28,300 registered electric vehicles, a 53% increase over 2021. Drivers switching to an electric pickup truck could save more than $1,700 per year in fueling and maintenance costs compared to a gasoline-powered truck. Drivers of smaller cars could save more than $1,200 per year. The Inflation Reduction Act will make it easier and cheaper to purchase an electric vehicle, with upfront discounts up to $7,500 for new EVs and up to $4,000 for used EVs, helping many Americans skip the gas pump and save on fuel costs.
Investing in Tennessee
- Thanks to funding from President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has made available more than $103.6 million in the past year to Tennessee’s state and local governments to invest in energy efficiency and grid resilience.
- Novonix Anode Materials has received $150 million from DOE to build a battery materials manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, which will produce graphite for EV batteries.
- Piedmont Lithium has also received $141 million to build a world-class lithium hydroxide facility in McMinn County, TN.
- Tennessee Tech University has received $4.5 million to help develop cheaper mobile charging stations for electric vehicles, which can be deployed in rural areas and other places with limited EV charging capacity.
- Carbon Rivers in Knoxville, TN, has received $1.1 million to improve recycling of materials made from end-of-life wind turbine blades.
- Electric Power Research Institute in Knoxville, TN, has received $3.4 million for solar energy research as part of a grid modernization strategy.
Saving Tennesseans Money on Home Energy Bills
- DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program and State Energy Program have invested more than $55.1 million in Tennessee since 2015, leading to 789 jobs and over 2,800 homes with reduced energy costs and improved health and safety.
- Upgrading appliances and improving home energy efficiency could save a total of 9,900 GWh of energy in Tennessee, enough to power 462,000 Tennessee homes.
- Tennessee will receive over $167 million to implement a Home Energy Rebate program in the state. Low-income households in Tennessee could save an average of 44% on their home energy bills when they upgrade their appliances and improve energy efficiency through this program.
- The Inflation Reduction Act also includes grants to help state and local governments adopt the latest building energy codes, which could save the average new homeowner in Tennessee 29% on utility bills. That amounts to $719 per year.
Prioritizing Tennessee’s Underserved Communities
- The Biden Administration has committed to advancing equity for all communities, including through the Justice40 Initiative, which aims to ensure Federal agencies deliver at least 40% of the overall benefits of climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, clean water, and other investments to disadvantaged communities. DOE has more than 140 programs covered by this initiative.
- Nashville, TN has participated in a Clean Energy to Communities Peer Learning Cohort sponsored by DOE to develop and implement a municipal clean energy strategy.
- The Electric Power Research Institute is partnering with DOE to develop a community-focused planning framework to prevent power disruptions caused by extreme weather events. The goal is to minimize the potential burden of outages on local residents, especially low-income communities. The plan will then be deployed in a historically Black neighborhood in Nashville, TN, an area damaged by a destructive tornado and other storms in 2020.
For current DOE funding opportunities, visit: www.energy.gov/infrastructure
Courtesy of the U.S. DOE.
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