Gov. Phil Bredesen, D-Tenn., has proposed the Volunteer State Solar Initiative, a comprehensive solar-energy and economic-development program that will use up to $62.5 million in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to advance job creation, education, research and renewable power production in Tennessee.
Subject to approval by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Tennessee General Assembly, the proposed initiative consists of two closely related projects:
- the Tennessee Solar Institute at UT and ORNL, which will focus on basic science and industry partnerships to improve the affordability and efficiency of solar products; and
- the West Tennessee Solar Farm near Brownsville, a 5 MW, 20-acre power generation facility at the Haywood County industrial megasite that will be one of the largest installations in the Southeast and serve as a demonstration tool for educational, research and economic-development purposes.
‘Our success over the past few months in recruiting solar industry manufacturers to Tennessee shows we have bright economic prospects for additional job growth in this area,’ Bredesen says. ‘Now, it's time to build on our strengths and position Tennessee for the next wave of investment in the renewable energy sector.’
SOURCE: Office of Gov. Phil Bredesen