The Volunteer State Solar Initiative is a strategic effort to grow the industrial base and further position Tennessee as a leader in
the clean energy sector.
Through basic science and industry partnerships, Tennessee Solar Institute's ultimate goal is to make solar technologies more affordable and efficient, thus accelerating solar growth in the U.S. and globally. To accomplish this, Tennessee Solar Institute will serve as a switchyard for industry training, partnerships and activities that encourage future renewable-energy in Tennessee.
The West Tennessee Solar Farm is a five-megawatt power generation facility to be built in Haywood County. It will be one of the largest installations in the Southeast and serve as a demonstration tool for educational, research and economic-development purposes.
Governor Phil Bredesen launched the Volunteer State Solar Initiative in 2009, as part of the state's strategic efforts to grow the industrial base and further position Tennessee as a leader in the clean energy sector.
The Tennessee Solar Institute and West Tennessee Solar Farm, both overseen by the UT Research Foundation, are the two components that make up the Volunteer Solar State Initiative.
The source of funding for the initiative is the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The $62.5 million in funding is distributed by the U.S. Department of Energy, through a State Energy Program grant, to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.