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Tennessee Solar Institute Announces $4.5 million in Solar Installation Grants

August 13, 2010

Enables 2.8 megawatts of new solar energy conversion in Tennessee

KNOXVILLE — Tennessee Solar Institute today announced $4.5 million in Solar Installation grants awarded, just seven weeks after the Institute began accepting applications. Sixty-five grants make up the first round of award recipients, which is anticipated to produce 2.8 megawatts of new solar energy in Tennessee. Award recipients span across the state with grant funds ranging from $14,400 to $245,000. Designed to speed the deployment of renewable energy resources, this grant program is part of Governor Phil Bredesen’s Volunteer State Solar Initiative, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

“The Solar Installation grants are an important tool in the expansion of Tennessee's renewable energy portfolio and one of the reasons Tennessee is considered a leader in the deployment of clean energy technology under Governor Bredesen," said Matt Kisber, commissioner, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. "These Tennessee companies understand using renewable energy makes them more competitive and they should be applauded for their vision."

The Institute began accepting grant applications on June 21, 2010.  Solar Installation grants are available to Tennessee businesses to assist in the purchase and installation of small-scale photovoltaic solar systems on or adjacent to existing non-residential buildings or structures. A total of $9 million is allocated to the Solar Installation Grant program and will be distributed to companies on a first come, first served basis. Award recipients may receive up to $245,000 in reimbursement funds based on project size. Applications continue to be accepted until all funds have been awarded.

“Today’s announcement marks an important milestone in the advancement of Tennessee’s position as a leader in solar innovation,” said David Millhorn, executive vice president, University of Tennessee. “The Institute offers several programs that will not only strengthen the solar industry but also stimulate economic growth and create jobs in Tennessee.”

Tennessee Solar Institute is part of the Volunteer State Solar Initiative, a comprehensive solar energy and economic development program focusing on job creation, education, renewable power production and technology commercialization. This initiative has been established using $62.5 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding received by the Department of Economic and Community Development.

About Tennessee Solar Institute

Tennessee Solar Institute is a center of excellence between the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory that brings together scientists, engineers and technical experts with business leaders and policymakers to help speed the deployment of solar photovoltaic technology. Its mission is to advance the understanding of solar innovation and to inspire new ideas that speed the deployment and implementation of solar-based technology in Tennessee. Tennessee Solar Institute is housed on the campus of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

For more information, visit http://solar.tennessee.edu.

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Contact:
Kimberly Holbrook, (865) 974-4736, kholbro3@tennessee.edu