Distributed Energy Resources

Seven States Power Partners With Chattanooga, Knoxville On Green Energy Initiatives

Seven States Power is helping two public power utilities in eastern Tennessee expand the green energy options available to their customers.

In Chattanooga, EPB – formerly the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga – has joined forces with Seven States Power and Rock City to build a solar arbor designed to reduce energy consumption and enhance educational opportunities at the tourist attraction. The solar panels were installed on a plant arbor the partners built and will help power the ticket booth at Rock City. The “solar garden arbor,” which was constructed by Lightwave Solar, will generate about 16,800 kilowatt hours (kWh) of renewable energy per year.

Seven States Power is an energy solutions cooperative that is owned and operated by 153 local power companies across the seven states of the Tennessee Valley.

Further east in Tennessee, Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB) and Seven States Power partnered with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, on the installation of a new electric vehicle charging station.

The single ChargePoint station features two charging ports and is in a staff parking lot, a location evaluated and chosen by students at the University of Tennessee’s Heath Integrated Business and Engineering Program (Heath IBEP).

Charging at the location will be available for $1 per hour for the first four hours, with the rate increasing to $2 per hour after that. The cost to charge a vehicle at the station comes to between two-to-three cents per mile compared with between 12 and 14 cents per mile for an average gas engine, the partners said.

The installation is the 24th electric vehicle charger on campus, but the only networked charger that offers the university real-time data for analysis. The Heath IBEP students plan to use data from the charger to assess whether or not current chargers need to be upgraded or replaced with smart chargers, monitor and give feedback on revenue as needed, and provide other educational opportunities.

Knoxville Utilities Board promotes electric vehicle use through its EV Charger Rebate Program, as well as through the adoption of Tennessee Valley Authority’s EV charger wholesale rate. “We’re proud to support the adoption of EVs throughout our service territory,” Gabriel Bolas, KUB president and CEO, said in a statement.

For Seven States, the new installation gives the cooperative more than 100 installations across the Tennessee Valley in less than three years.