As part of Governor Phil Bredesen’s Volunteer State Solar Initiative, the Tennessee Solar Institute (TSI) today announced a commitment of over seven million dollars in Solar Innovation Grants to fund 37 projects throughout the state to spur growth in the state’s emerging solar value chain. A total of 21 Tennessee businesses, representing eight of the nine U.S. congressional districts in the state, were awarded grants.

“The grants awarded to businesses across the state represent a wide range of proposed activities, from process improvements to workforce development,” said David Millhorn, executive vice president, University of Tennessee. “But the one thing they have in common is that they will help these solar firms be more productive, less energy intensive and more efficient in their processes. Today’s announcement is another important step in the establishment of Tennessee as a leader in solar.”

All told, the grant funding will leverage more than $13 million in private investments, with a total cumulative benefit to the state’s economy in excess of $20 million. Companies receiving grant awards represent a cross-section of large and small businesses in Tennessee’s growing solar industry. Grant funds will be used to increase energy efficiency and incorporate renewable energy products in the workplace, while decreasing operating costs and increasing profitability. The end result will be the creation of new Tennessee jobs and increased competitiveness across the solar value chain.

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