Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday announced that Oak Ridge is receiving $200,000 in Clean Tennessee Energy Grant funding for lighting in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building and Civic Center Complex.
The money will be used to replace and retrofit existing fluorescent lighting fixtures to LED lighting, a press release said.
It’s the first of 19 grant awards that the governor will be making in the next few weeks, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation said in the press release. Funding for the projects comes from an April 2011 Clean Air Act settlement with the Tennessee Valley Authority.
The Oak Ridge project will enhance lighting while saving electricity and making the buildings more energy-efficient, state officials said.
“I am proud to see this commitment at the local level to implement innovative technology and improve efficiency,” Haslam said. “The Oak Ridge project announced today highlights local efforts across the state to save taxpayers’ dollars as we continue our work to make Tennessee the best place to live, work, and raise a family.”
TDEC estimated that the new lighting would reduce electrical consumption by about 250,00 kilowatt-hours per year. That’s equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from 147 passenger vehicles, carbon dioxide emissions from about 80,000 gallons of burned gasoline, and carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity use of 105 homes for one year.
Haslam is making the grant announcements in coordination with TDEC.
“The funding will benefit energy efficiency projects for local governments and municipalities, utilities, and other private and public organizations across Tennessee,” the press release said. “Efforts across the state are designed to reduce air emissions, improve energy efficiency, and create cost savings. The grant program provides financial assistance to state and local government agencies, utility districts, and quasi-government entities in Tennessee to purchase, install, and construct energy projects.”
Under the TVA settlement, Tennessee will receive $26.4 million during a five-year period to fund clean air programs in the state at a cost of about $5.25 million per year. As part of the grant program’s initial offering, a total of $5.3 million in Clean Energy grants was awarded in 2012 to a variety of projects within state government, municipalities, utilities, state colleges, and communities throughout the state, the press release said.
Eligible projects fit into several categories:
- cleaner alternative energy—biomass, geothermal, solar, and wind;
- energy conservation—lighting, HVAC improvements, improved fuel efficiency, insulation, and idling minimization; and
- air quality improvement—reduction in greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds, oxides of nitrogen, and hazardous air pollutants.
The maximum grant amount per project is $250,000, and it requires a match from the applicant.
Note: This story was updated at 4:33 p.m.