Business leaders say advanced energy technology is the future of Tennessee. A recent report by the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council said the cutting-edge technology associated with renewable energy sources will “enhance the state’s economic development, attract companies to locate and expand in-state and most importantly, create high-quality jobs for Tennesseans.”

Matt Kisber, a former state commissioner of economic and community development, is president of the council. He said the organization was created to advocate for advanced energy businesses like his own. Kisber is president and co-founder of Silicon Ranch Corp. which owns and operates solar power arrays across the United States.

Earlier this month, Kisber was at a groundbreaking for a 41,000-panel solar farm his company is building in partnership with BrightRidge and the Tennessee Valley Authority on 40 acres in Washington County.

“Renewable energy is one asset, but we are also talking about related technologies,” Kisber said last week. “What are businesses like FedEx doing to use renewables and reduce its carbon footprint? It’s as Fred Smith (the founder of the worldwide parcel delivery service based in Memphis) once told me, FedEx is really an information and technology company that delivers packages.”

Originally published: Johnson City Press