Monday, November 22, 2010

The Year in Review

2010 was a good year! Here's a snapshot of some of things our grants and partnerships let us accomplish this year:

DOE's Solar America Cities Grant (SAC):

- As the SAC grant wraps up, solar installations in the Knoxville area topped over 1 MW in 2010 (starting from ~15 kW in 2007);

- The SAC grant funded 2 solar installations: 4.7 kW system on the Transit center and 1.4 kW system on the Knox Heritage house; and

- The City of Knoxville has funded and installed 2 solar hot water systems this year (one at the Heritage House, one in a private residence via Community Development).

DOE's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG):

- EECBG funds have weatherized 19 private middle-income homes;

- EECBG funds have installed 11 HVAC systems in Fire Stations;

- The City has pioneered the first municipal Third Party Finance package for renewable energy in the Tennessee Valley region;

- Knoxville & Knox County were the only City / County combination in America to meet the EECBG 20% spend deadline; and

- The City of Knoxville is the only city in America being represented on the National Academy of Sciences advisory committee for "Incorporating Sustainability into the U.S EPA".

Partnerships with other departments / governmental entities:

- A contract for 10 solar assisted electric vehicle charging stations was executed with ORNL for public charging infrastructure;

- The Ameresco retrofit contract is 30% complete, with the 28.5 kW solar installation on the Convention Center complete;

- The Energy & Sustainability Task Force, through 6 working groups, completed the content for the City's first Sustainability Work Plan;

- Downtown and City County single stream recycling programs were launched with good intake volumes and feedback;

- Wall Ave. LED streetlight pilot's first report shows roughly 50% energy savings, and City Engineering & KUB are using LED in retrofits and new construction (Blount, Volunteer, Hill, Market & Union);

- LED stoplight conversion is complete and saving $250,000 annually; and

- A HUD / DOT $4,300,000 grant for sustainable planning was awarded to our 5 county region (managed by Community Development).

We also did 25 sustainability-related presentations in 2010. Thanks for the support to promote energy and sustainability efforts in the City of Knoxville!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thank you, Energy & Sustainability Task Force!

E&S Task Force Members,

Thank you for serving on the City’s Energy & Sustainability Task Force. Since 2007, we have been able to develop a baseline inventory and accomplish much to improve the way we do business as a City and to reduce the amount of energy we require to operate.

Some highlights your efforts have contributed to:

• Through the Solar America Cities grant, we have grown solar capacity from just under 15 kilowatts to well over 1 megawatt;
• Through Ameresco’s guaranteed energy service performance contract, we are reducing the energy use of 99 City facilities with guaranteed payback over the next 13 years;
• Through partnerships, we have become a vital part of the highly visible electric vehicle rollout with Knox County, Oak Ridge, TVA, KUB, and ECOtality;
• Through over a decade of persistence and the influence of the Task Force goals, we have opened our new energy efficient transit center, which will be certified LEED silver;
• Through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, we are weatherizing private homes and city fire stations, educating builders, developing a third party finance model for renewable energy, beginning a curb-side recycling service, employing staff, and launching an appliance and solar incentive program; and
• Through the six Task Force working groups of 2010, we have the components of the City’s first Energy & Sustainability Plan.

Thanks to your planning efforts during Phase I and II of the working groups, we are moving into the implementation phase. Though there will be no more Task Force Meetings, City staff will develop the work plan from your recommendations and send a draft for your review and comment in early 2011. They will use the plan as a guide to implementation by priority.

Knoxville is thriving thanks to people like you who care enough to give time and effort to making a difference. Thank you for your commitment to making this City a better place to live.