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Tennessee Solar Institute Announces New Solar Installation Grant Recipients

September 20, 2011

Seventeen solar installation projects to benefit from second round of program

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Solar Institute (TSI) today announced it has committed nearly $1.6 million in new Solar Installation grants to Tennessee businesses. The grant recipients represent companies that were on a retention list from the first round of funding as well as second-round applicants of the highly popular program. A total of 17 projects, valued at more than $4.8 million, have been approved for new solar photovoltaic installations across the state.

When combined with previously announced Solar Installation Grants (announced September 24, 2010), a total of 144 installations, representing over 6.2 MW of new, clean energy production, will have benefitted from the program. Projects are located in 40 counties across the state, with a total economic impact of more than $35.9 million.

Tennessee businesses responded quickly to the second round of the Solar Installation Grant Program. A total of 60 applications, with proposed requests totaling over $5 million, were submitted in just three days following the August 15 opening.

"The overwhelming number of applications TSI received in just three days only reinforces what we first learned a year ago; businesses across the state are excited about solar energy," said John Sanseverino, Director of Programs with TSI. "Companies saw this opportunity as, first and foremost, a business decision; it has helped businesses create jobs and become more energy independent. It’s a win-win for these companies and for the state of Tennessee."

The Solar Installation Grant Program was made available to Tennessee businesses to assist in the purchase and installation of small-scale photovoltaic solar systems. This specific program, along with numerous additional solar projects, has led to exponential growth in Tennessee's solar capacity while fostering economic development. In 2008, less than one megawatt of electricity was produced by solar PV systems in Tennessee. By the end of 2011, over 17 MW of new generation capacity will be complete, or nearly complete, across the state.

While the program is fully subscribed and applications are no longer being accepted, TSI will retain any remaining qualified applications should a grantee elect not to proceed with a project or fail to meet grant program guidelines.

This second round of installation grants was the fourth grant opportunity made available by TSI through the $23.5 million Solar Opportunity Fund. Designed to speed the deployment of renewable energy resources, the Solar Opportunity Fund is part of the Volunteer State Solar Initiative, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The Tennessee Solar Institute is part of the Volunteer State Solar Initiative, a comprehensive solar energy and economic development program that was established using $62.5 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funding received by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy under Award Number DE-EE0000160.

Funding Source: CDFA 81.041

About Tennessee Solar Institute
The Tennessee Solar Institute (TSI) 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 technology. Its mission is to advance the understanding of solar innovation and to inspire new ideas that speed the development and implementation of solar-based technology in Tennessee. TSI is housed at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. For more information, visit http://solar.tennessee.edu.

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Contact:
Chris Davis, (865) 974-4736, cdavi105@tennessee.edu