TAEBC Annual Meeting welcomes new board members, talks of 2017 energy opportunities

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council hosted its Annual Meeting Wednesday in Nashville.

During the meeting, it was announced Mary Beth Hudson, Vice President Wacker Polysilicon NCA and Charleston, Tenn. Site Manager as well as Ryan Stanton, Program Leader Smart Cities and Urban Infrastructure at Schneider Electric would serve as TAEBC’s new board members.

Ryan fills Jim Plourde’s board term, as Jim has accepted a new position as Director of Energy Solutions at Powersmiths, a Canadian company that provides products and services that deliver energy and cost savings opportunities to customers.

TAEBC thanks Jim for his service and extends our congratulations on this new position. He’ll continue to be engaged with TAEBC championing advanced energy as an economic development and job creation strategy. Thank you, Jim for your leadership during TAEBC’s formative years.

TAEBC would also like to thank Jimmy Glotfelty of Clean Line Energy Partners and Tom Rogers and Beth Conerty of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Innovation Crossroads for speaking during the annual meeting. Members enjoyed hearing more about 2017’s energy outlook and opportunities.

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council thanks member Bradley for hosting the annual meeting and providing a venue.

TAEBC’s continued success and growth is credited to its members as we look ahead to 2017.

Previous Story: Looking back on TAEBC’s 2016 accomplishments & what’s to come

TAEBC is positioning the state and its members to increase our leadership role in the $1.3 trillion global advanced energy market. In order to do this, TAEBC is focused on four goals in the New Year.

TAEBC wants to reinforce our commitment to our members and stakeholders:

  • Inform the national energy agenda.
  • Help Tennessee become the #1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.
  • Foster the growth of Tennessee advanced energy technologies and startups.
  • Support TVA’s efforts to become the utility of the future.

Schneider Electric to Create Jobs, Open Regional Office in Franklin, TN

TAEBC member, Schneider Electric recently announced that the company will consolidate its existing Middle Tennessee operations in Davidson and Rutherford Counties to Williamson County, opening a major Southeast regional office in Franklin.

The consolidation will relocate approximately 900 current employees and create 250 new jobs. Schneider Electric’s regional office will be located at Two Franklin Park in a newly constructed 150,000 square foot space, which is slated to be complete by the fourth quarter of 2017. The workforce will be comprised of engineering, sales, R&D and corporate functions for several national and global business units.schneider-electric-logo

Schneider Electric is a global company that specializes in energy management and automation by developing connected technologies and solutions to manage energy and process in ways that are safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable.

“The state of Tennessee has long been a hub of innovation for Schneider Electric, and we are happy to maintain our strong commitment to the communities where we live and work,” said Annette Clayton, CEO and president of Schneider Electric North America. “Our new facility in Franklin will be our largest office in the country, creating an environment that encourages collaboration with customers and employees. The facility will be designed with the Schneider Electric vision of workplace collaboration and energy efficiency and will create a center of leadership and excellence.”

“We thank Schneider Electric for choosing Franklin for its regional office and creating 250 new jobs in Tennessee,” Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said. “Many companies have selected Tennessee as a base for their operations, and we are proud they call our state home. (This) announcement is great news not only for Williamson County, but for the entire state as it supports our goal to make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”

Schneider Electric is the global specialist in energy management and automation. With revenues of ~$30 billion in FY2015, 160,000+ employees serve customers in over 100 countries, helping them to manage their energy and process in ways that are safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable. From the simplest of switches to complex operational systems, our technology, software and services improve the way our customers manage and automate their operations. Schneider’s connected technologies reshape industries, transform cities and enrich lives. Learn more at www.schneider-electric.com.

To read the official announcement, visit here.

Building a Better Future: Schneider Electric Continues Partnership with Habitat for Humanity

TAEBC member, Schneider Electric, a Middle Tennessee-based power company leader, is moving forward with its dedication to providing residential equipment for Habitat of Humanity homes.

Schneider Electric is giving back by helping families secure affordable housing. The company made a commitment of dedicating nearly $3.6 million in product and financial donations over the next year.schneider-electric-logo-small

In the official press announcement, Ted Klee, Schneider Senior Vice President for Global Supply Chain North America said, “At Schneider Electric, we believe in building sustainable communities and we support Habitat for Humanity in its dedication to bringing people together to build decent and affordable homes. Our mission is to ensure that Life Is On everywhere, for everyone and at every moment—ensuring that energy is safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable—in every home.”

Schneider Electric employees will build alongside 16 Habitat families across the country in need of decent and affordable housing. In addition, Schneider Electric will donate its Square D electrical imagesequipment to help reduce the cost to construct Habitat homes in the U.S. and Canada. Several additional grants will be available to help families build affordable housing in Canada and Mexico.

“Schneider Electric’s continued support of Habitat’s work over the years has been so important in helping us build strong and stable communities,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International.  “We appreciate their partnership and the employees who work alongside future homeowners who are eager to create new opportunities for themselves and for their families.”

Additionally, Schneider Electric recently supported Habitat for Humanity Chicagoland’s annual Hero Awards dinner and will also be a sponsor of Habitat’s 2016 Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project taking place in August in Memphis, Tennessee.

Since the partnership began in 2000, Schneider Electric has donated more than $34 million worth of Square D by Schneider Electric electrical equipment to build Habitat homes in the U.S. and Canada. In addition, the company has donated more than $6.7 million worth of funding to help cover the cost of land, infrastructure and building materials of Habitat homes.

TAEBC commends Schneider Electric’s commitment to giving back to the community in charitable contributions and employee services.

For more information, visit schneider-electric.com.

It’s a Wrap: TAEBC Completes Filming of Advanced Energy Video Series

TAEBC has been busy the past two months, traveling across the region to film the organization’s first video series. Thanks to the sponsorship of TAEBC Charter members, Silicon Ranch Corporation, Oak Ridge National Lab and Strata-G, three videos were filmed in April and May.

Dan Hurst

Strata-G President Dan Hurst, a TAEBC video sponsor, on set at Maryville College.

The videos take an up close look at the advanced energy sector. Titled “This is Advanced Energy,” “Inside Advanced Energy” and “Innovations in Advanced Energy,” the series features interviews with TAEBC member organizations along with action footage of production, research and development.

TAEBC kicked off filming with an interview at TAEBC Charter member, PYA. Past President Tom Ballard provided insight on what makes Tennessee rich in advanced energy resources and why the industry is a leading economic driver for the state.

TAEBC spent a day at Oak Ridge National Lab, capturing scientific and development aspects of advanced energy and how a concept moves from the idea phase to research to production. ORNL will be the focus of the third video in the series, “Innovations in Advanced Energy.”

While in Middle Tennessee, TAEBC filmed with TAEBC member, Bridgestone, learning about the company’s commitment to energy efficiency in tire production. TAEBC also spent time with TAEBC member, Schneider Electric, taking an in-depth look at microgrid development. TAEBC wrapped up its Nashville area tour at Silicon Ranch Corporation headquarters, hearing about solar advancements in Tennessee.

Matt Kisber

Behind the scenes filming at Silicon Ranch in Nashville. Silicon Ranch is a TAEBC video sponsor.

We traveled to Vonore and visited with TAEBC member, Genera Energy, taking a closer look at biomass processing and switchgrass production. Strata-G hosted TAEBC at the site of one of its energy efficient buildings on the Maryville College campus and also took the camera along for a trip to its natural gas fueling stations in Sevier County.

Other members participating in the production include TAEBC members, Clean Line Energy and PHG Energy, who supplied footage to be included in the video series.

Thank you to all members for making the filming possible. TAEBC will provide sneak peeks and first looks throughout the year in the newsletter and on all social media channels. Photos and video clips are available on the Flickr and YouTube accounts.

The videos are anticipated to be ready for preview in early fall. A launch party is planned for all members and participants. It’s an exciting time to be a TAEBC member. Watch the e-news for more updates and information including a save the date preview invite.

DOE Grid Modernization Funding Announcement Has East Tennessee Impact

When the Department of Energy (DOE) announced on January 14th a commitment of up to $200 million for more than 80 projects to modernize America’s grid, it left little doubt that DC is serious about increasing the reliability of the nation’s electrical delivery system.



In a release, DOE Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said, “Modernizing the U.S. electrical grid is essential to reducing carbon emissions, creating safeguards against attacks on our infrastructure, and keeping the lights on. This public-private partnership between our National Laboratories, industry, academia, and state and local government agencies will help us further strengthen our ongoing efforts to improve our electrical infrastructure so that it is prepared to respond to the nation’s energy needs for decades to come.”

Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) Charter member Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is anticipated to play a major role in DOE’s overall plan. ORNL spokeswoman Morgan McCorkle confirmed to the News Sentinel that the lab will be involved in more than 25 of the funded projects. ORNL’s scope of work will include transformer research, analysis and testing. McCorkle also confirmed the lab will receive about $11 million in Fiscal Year 2016 and a total of $22 million over three years.

In addition, several of DOE’s grid modernization funded research projects explore the concept of microgrids, a localized group of electricity sources and loads that can disconnect and function on their own, separate from a traditional centralized grid. Microgrids are being researched and investigated here in Tennessee, both for their ability to function autonomously and for their capacity to operate as economic conditions warrant.

Last December, TAEBC members heard from fellow members who are investigating microgrid feasibility in East Tennessee. Cherokee Farm in Knoxville, working with Hitachi, continues to study the economic impact of an operational microgrid. TAEBC member Schneider Electric is also making advances toward microgrid development in Upper East Tennessee.

All of this activity is not only good for the nation but good for organizations such as TAEBC. With our Charter member ORNL playing a significant role in grid research, it’s safe to say that Tennessee overall will be a major player in advancing the resiliency, reliability, and security of the nation’s electricity delivery system.