• Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share via Email
Sustainability Update: More EV Ports, New Solar Panels, Vision Zero Safer Streets 
A Letter from Sustainability Director Brian Blackmon

The Office of Sustainability has been hard at work since you last heard from us in 2021.

Our team, along with the hard-working folks we rely on in Facilities, Fleet Services, Parks and Recreation, Engineering and KAT, have been installing new electric vehicle (EV) charging and installing new solar, as well as working to make Knoxville’s streets safer. 

Last time I wrote to you all, we were talking about adding more EV charging (www.knoxvilletn.gov/electricvehicles/), and since then we’ve added 13 new ports throughout the city. We have at least 8 more in the construction pipeline as well.

We’ve been focused on addressing gaps in available charging amenities: Places near communities that lack off-street parking, or have large amounts of multi-family housing (rentals, condos, or apartments), where installing your own charger may not be allowed by property management.

We’re also partnering with KUB and TVA to bring a DC Fast Charger (DCFC) to downtown in the near future. A DCFC can top a user off in 15 to 30 minutes from empty and get users back on the road quickly.

The team has also been working hard to get more solar panels on city facilities. We just finished Cal Johnson Recreation Center’s install in January, and the panels on the roof will provide about 13 percent of the energy the building needs, and will pay for itself in about a decade.

New solar panels atop the Cal Johnson Recreation Center will provide about 13 percent of the energy the building needs.

I’ve heard from many of you that have seen this project, and the community solar project at Morris Avenue, that you’re interested in taking advantage of the 30 percent tax credit to put solar on your own homes. Knoxville is home to some top-notch installers, and to avoid fly-by-night companies, I recommend finding a “NABCEP” certified installer (https://directories.nabcep.org/). Installers with this professional license are required to go through testing to become certified as a subject matter expert in their field.

Finally, I want to talk a little bit about traffic safety. My office, along with a number of other government teams and community partners, have been working hard to launch the Vision Zero Knoxville initiative (www.knoxvilletn.gov/visionzero/).

Vision Zero logo

Vision Zero is all about the elimination of “life-altering crashes,” or crashes that result in fatalities and serious injuries.

About every other day, someone in Knoxville experiences a life-altering crash. In the last 5 years, more than 1,000 people have suffered serious injuries, and an additional 157 have lost their lives. I woke up one morning recently and read of another handful of folks who lost their lives over the weekend.

While we’re using a lot of data, we want to learn from our residents. If you have a neighborhood association, community event, church group or social club interested in learning more about Vision Zero and sharing your thoughts on traffic safety, send my team an email ([email protected]) so we can schedule a time to talk with you.

If you’ve ever got questions about our work, please don’t hesitate to call or email my team!

Yours in service,
Brian Blackmon
Office of Sustainability
Posted by evreeland On 16 February, 2023 at 11:43 PM