TVA, University of Tennessee to Develop Campus Energy Management Program

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The Tennessee Valley Authority and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in partnership with Knoxville Utilities Board, finalized an agreement Thursday that will drastically enhance energy efficiency on UT’s sprawling campus and serve as a model for other campuses nationwide.

TVA’s EnergyRight Solutions for Business program will work with the university’s flagship campus to create a 10-year strategic energy roadmap, setting targets for electricity demand reduction and annual energy savings. The plan could become a blueprint for energy management programs at other colleges and universities.

“TVA, in conjunction with our 155 local power distributors, has made improved energy efficiency a centerpiece of our vision for a cleaner energy future. Implementing innovative new programs like this are key to fulfilling that vision,” said Bob Balzar, TVA vice president for Energy Efficiency and Demand Response. “I applaud the University of Tennessee for partnering with TVA and KUB to develop a program that will serve as a model for college and university campuses throughout the Tennessee Valley region.”

UT Knoxville is one of the largest green power purchasers in the Southeast and is often recognized for its student-led environmental initiatives. In 2005, students approved a special fee to fund green energy purchases and other sustainable initiatives. Since 2008, faculty, staff and students have worked to reduce overall energy consumption, saving more than $1 million.

“We look forward to working with TVA and KUB on a 10-year energy management plan to enhance our energy and cost reduction efforts and lessen the overall impact of our operations,” UT Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek said. “Our students, faculty and staff have made UT a national leader in campus sustainability and this project will enhance our efforts and serve as a model for other colleges and universities.”

TVA also will conduct training for campus energy managers, recommend systems to measure energy performance of UT Knoxville’s buildings, develop peak and minimum load management strategies and help implement best practices for communicating energy efficiency efforts. The project’s first phase is expected to be complete by fall 2011.

“We congratulate TVA and UT Knoxville on this partnership,” KUB President and CEO Mintha Roach said. “TVA’s resources in the energy efficiency arena, coupled with UT Knoxville’s willingness to embark on this ambitious effort, will create a unique opportunity for all of us to learn more about how institutions can become more energy efficient.”

A research-intensive institution, UT Knoxville ranks among U.S. News and World Report’s Top 50 public universities and serves more than 27,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for utility and business customers in most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia – an area of 80,000 square miles with a population of 9 million. TVA operates 29 hydroelectric dams, 11 coal-fired power plants, three nuclear plants and 11 natural gas-fired power facilities that can produce about 34,000 megawatts of electricity, delivered over 16,000 miles of high-voltage power lines. TVA also provides flood control, navigation, land management and recreation for the Tennessee River system and works with local utilities and state and local governments to promote economic development across the region. TVA, which makes no profits and receives no taxpayer money, is funded by sales of electricity to its customers. Electricity prices in TVA’s service territory are below the national average.

C O N T A C T :

Mike Bradley, TVA Media Relations (865-632-8860)

Whitney Holmes, UT Knoxville Media Relations (865-974-5460, wholmes7@utk.edu)

 

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