Clean energy unites trade group for Tennessee jobs

Anne BrockOur Town Outdoors

What’s fueling job growth, workforce education and economic development in Tennessee? It’s an evolving mix of energy research, policy and the drive to succeed.

The recent gathering of thought leaders with the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council in Franklin shared updates on everything from small nuclear reactor planning to sites for solar to how entrepreneurs are capturing carbon. It served as both a celebration of progress and a call to action.

“On a day when I need megawatts, it’s all of the above,” said Don Moul, chief operating officer of the Tennessee Valley Authority, noting that TVA relies on a diverse mix of sources to provide electricity for a seven-state region that includes the Tennessee Valley. Brian Child, TVA’s vice president of enterprise planning, broke down in more detail progress on the Integrated Resource Plan, acknowledging the challenge of meeting increasing energy needs while also adding more clean energy capacity to curb carbon pollution.

Co-founder Anca Timofte of Holocene presented to the TAEBC annual meeting about her research in removing carbon from the atmosphere. Holocene is one of the newest members of TAEBC.

Timofte summed up her work with, “we think we have a unique technology in a space that’s becoming more interesting.” She is aiming to go from proving the technology to scaling up for industrial use.

Marc Gibson, UT’s associate vice chancellor of partnerships & economic development, gave an update on TEAM TN. “We have opportunities to build,” noted Gibson of Tennessee’s capacity to do research and development for the transportation sector of the economy. TEAM TN is focused on electrification, battery technology and bringing more jobs to the state through innovation in these areas. Gibson cautioned that the state is losing some ground in tech innovation and has room to improve.

Anne Brock is marketing coordinator for TAEBC member Solar Alliance, which designs and manages solar installation projects for manufacturers and small businesses. It also offers a Solar 101 class that can be hosted by community centers in Tennessee. She can be reached at or 865-221-8349.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *