Clean Energy

Sustainability Director

Brian Blackmon
[email protected]
(865) 215-4430

400 Main St., Room 598
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Reduce Our Climate Footprint


Because much of our energy comes from fossil fuels, wasting energy also creates unnecessary negative impact on the environment. Renewable energy offers an innovative and sustainable solution, allowing us to generate clean power from solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal resources.

To meet our sustainability goals, avoid unnecessary energy expenditures, and promote clean energy throughout the community, the City champions energy efficiency and renewable energy. 


Solar in the City

Solar technologies transform the sun’s energy into usable forms, providing electricity and heat for homes, businesses, and industry. It’s a powerful resource with a lot of potential - more energy from the sun hits the earth in one hour than is used by everyone in the world in one year. 

The City’s solar journey began in 2008, when the U.S. Department of Energy selected Knoxville as one of 25 Solar America Cities and provided funding to accelerate the adoption of solar energy across the community. Learn more about our Solar America Cities program here.

The City of Knoxville currently owns five solar arrays:
   • Convention Center: 121.4 kW
   • Jacob Building at Chilhowee Park: 50 kW
   • Civic Coliseum Parking Garage: 14.4 kW 
   • Market Square Garage: 8.64 kW
   • KTA Transit Center: 5 kW

These arrays are capable of producing around 200 kilowatts (kW) of electricity in total, enough to power about 22 homes each year! These arrays provide renewable power to City facilities, saving taxpayer money on utilities and reducing our carbon footprint. 

Businesses and organizations also contribute to solar energy generation across the city, including:
   • Community solar supplied by Knoxville Utility Board: 502 mW (502,000 kW) planned by 2024    • Knox County: 5.3 mW (5,300 kW)
   • Knoxville Utility Board: 107 kW across 2 facilities
   • Knoxville Zoo: 50 kW
   • Three Rivers Market: 49.9 kW
   • Ijams Nature Center: 19 kW
   • Mellow Mushroom: 8 kW

We also support individuals and organizations who want to make the switch to solar. Learn more about how to go solar here.


Utility Programs

There are plenty of ways to support clean energy in Knoxville. Customers of Knoxville Utility Board have access to several programs to power their homes and businesses with renewable energy generated by Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA):
   • Green Switch Match allows residential and commercial customers to reduce their carbon footprint by signing up for 100 percent renewable power for their homes or businesses. 
   • Green Switch (formerly known as Green Power Switch) gives residential and business customers the option to support renewable energy generation in our region.
   • Green Flex allows businesses and industries inside the Tennessee Valley to purchase out-of-Valley wind renewable energy certificates (RECs) to reduce environmental impact.

Learn more at KUB’s Renewable Energy Programs website.


Resources

   • Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
   • TDEC Office of Energy Programs and Clean Energy Financing
   • TVA Renewable Energy Programs
   • KUB Renewable Energy Programs
   • Tennessee Renewable Energy & Economic Development Council (TREEDC)
   • UT Energy & Environment Program
   • Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC)
   • Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)
   • Tennessee Solar Energy Association (TSEA)
   • Tennessee Solar Energy Industries Association (TenneSEIA)
   • American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)    • ORNL Electrification and Energy Infrastructure Division and Energy Science & Technology Program
   • DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
   • DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office and Clean Energy lessons and activities
   • National Renewable Energy Laboratory and NREL Solar Energy Technologies Program
   • Florida Solar Energy Research Center
   • Renewable Energy World