Four rural counties in the Chattanooga region will divvy up more than $500,000 in energy grant funding from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation for retrofits, replacements and improvements to save electrical power in government facilities.
Grundy, Marion, Rhea and Sequatchie counties got a combined $530,365, with Grundy getting the lion's share at $199,144, followed by Marion at $151,854, Rhea at $110,000 and Sequatchie at $69,367, according to TDEC.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau announced the grants last week. Grants totaling $1.9 million were issued to 24 Tennessee communities for clean energy projects.
The Clean Tennessee Energy Grant program provides financial assistance to municipal and county governments, utility districts and other entities created by state statute, officials said. Funding comes from a 2011 Clean Air Act settlement with the Tennessee Valley Authority. Under the consent decree, Tennessee received $26.4 million to fund clean air programs in the state.
Entity - County - Amount
Austin Peay State University - Montgomery - $200,000
Bedford County Utility District - Bedford - $15,000
City of Erin - Houston, Stewart and Montgomery - $65,000
City of Jellico - Campbell - $20,000
City of LaFayette - Macon - $10,208
City of LaFollette Parks and Recreation - Campbell - $100,000
City of Maynardville - Union - $22,600
City of Memphis - Shelby - $16,650
City of New Johnsonville - Humphreys - $62,500
City of Tennessee Ridge - Houston - $58,900
Cocke County - Cocke - $19,095
DeKalb County - DeKalb - $18,928
Fayette County - Fayette - $66,530
Haywood County - Haywood - $232,623
Lake County - Lake - $22,339
Macon County - Macon - $64,835
McNairy County - McNairy $172,381
Morristown Housing Authority - Hancock - $78,012
Perry County - Perry - $93,950
Union County - Union - $38,810
Source: Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
Grundy County will use its grant funds for efficiency upgrades in the renovation project at the old high school in Tracy City to replace fluorescent lights with LED lighting and install on/off motion sensors at the Grundy County Courthouse, the Grundy County Health Department and the UT Agriculture Extension Office, County Mayor Michael Brady said Wednesday.
Grundy will save an estimated 456,436 kilowatt-hours and 321 metric tons of carbon dioxide, creating an estimated $12,000 in savings a year.
"Not only will this update our lighting for three different buildings, but the changes should yield a payback in savings in three to five years," Brady said.
"It's going to be an upgrade to our facilities with adequate lighting to help modernize our buildings," he said. Brady said new lighting should reduce costs of replacing incandescent bulbs, too.
Marion County will upgrade lighting to LEDs, install a new closed-circuit cooler and new Energy Star rated windows in the Marion County Justice Center, Marion County Courthouse Annex, county courthouse and election commission building. The improvements will save an estimated $17,009 a year.
Rhea County will get upgraded lighting and install new synthetic, reflective roofing slates on the historic Rhea County Courthouse. Lighting upgrades to switch from fluorescent to LED lights will go in the courthouse and in the courthouse annex building across the street. Total savings should be more than $23,000 a year.
Sequatchie County will upgrade to LED lighting in the Sequatchie County Justice Center, county courthouse and health department to save an estimated $42,645 a year.
"Clean Tennessee Energy Grants help our communities reduce costs, increase savings, waste less energy and promote clean air," Haslam said in a statement on the funding.
Officials said the projects also will help improve air quality by reducing sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds, oxides of nitrogen, hazardous air pollutants and greenhouse gases.
Contact staff writer Ben Benton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton.