According to the Tennessee Solar Institute, approximately US$7.28 million in innovation grants have been approved to be channelled into Tennessee solar companies to reduce energy consumption, train the work force and to adopt better technologies to serve the solar market better.
One of the 21 companies that were selected to receive grants was Sustainable Future located in Knoxville. Two grants amounting to US$322,310 will be used by the company to set up and equip an additional labour force who will install and maintain the companies solar systems and build an additional 23.25 kilowatts.
Annette Goberg, Sustainable Future’s Director of Community Empowerment stated, "I don’t think there’s anything better for someone who’s interested in solar to see it working".
The grants are the first phase of two rounds. The Tennessee Solar Institute will decide the division of the grants after determining the eligible candidates out of the 116 who applied. This work will be a collaboration with Oak Ridge Associated Universities. The institute has released a modified request for proposal for the next round of grants, expected to total about $7.25 million, to hopefully clarify some of the things that are allowable to receive funds.