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Coming Soon, Community Solar: 'Knoxville is Green and Proud of It" 
Imagine driving on Interstate 40 and seeing a large 2-acre field full of solar panels, on City property, between the Public Works Service Center and the interstate. 

"Tangibly, this trend-setting investment by KUB generates clean energy and provides an opportunity for all of us to invest in green power," Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon said. "But this solar project, right next to I-40, also sends a clear and powerful message to visitors: Knoxville is green and proud of it."

Community solar is a proven tool used throughout Tennessee and the nation to accelerate the adoption of renewables.

Knoxville is joining several communities across Tennessee that already have similar projects - like the Music City Solar in Nashville and Chattanooga's Solar Share. Both of those are led by utilities, and Knoxville's project is similarly led the Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB) in partnership with the City of Knoxville.

EPB employees walk in front of their Solar Share arrays in Chattanooga (courtesy of EPB)

Cutline: EPB employees walk in front of their Solar Share arrays in Chattanooga
(Photo courtesy of EPB)

The Knoxville solar project will continue to build on the great work of KUB. Did you know that Knoxville is No. 1 in the Southeast for its solar investment? Click HERE to learn more. Thank you, KUB and TVA!

So what is "community solar"? It's a model that allows interested people to voluntarily participate in solar projects through subscriptions or solar shares. It's a way for individuals and businesses to invest in renewable energy.

Solar energy can generate electricity using the light from the sun, and it does not emit carbon dioxide like the burning of fossil fuels. (Learn more about how solar works.)

"Community solar projects are great for individuals or businesses that are interested in supporting solar energy but can't directly invest in their own solar panels," City Sustainability Director Brian Blackmon said. "Perhaps they rent and don't own their property. Maybe they don't want to deal with maintenance. Or maybe they own a home and want solar, but they don't have a suitable roof on which to install panels because of shade."

Preparation of the City-owned site in West Knoxville off I-40 has already begun, and KUB anticipates working with contractors to complete designs this fall.

While the final design is still being developed, KUB is estimating that its solar project will generate the equivalent electricity to power 50 to 60 homes.

The Knoxville project will be a part of TVA's Flexibility Research Project. The power will go directly into the TVA grid, and notably will not count against KUB's contractual ability to self-generate electricity - an option available under its new contract with TVA.

This means KUB has preserved the flexibility to generate up to 80 megawatts of additional electricity locally in the future.

“KUB is proud to demonstrate our commitment to clean energy through this community solar project and our other green investments,” said Gabriel Bolas, KUB President and CEO.

“As we build on KUB’s legacy of environmental stewardship, we are fortunate to have such strong partners in the City of Knoxville and TVA so that working together, we can create a greener future for our community.”
Posted by evreeland On 24 June, 2021 at 10:18 PM