TAEBC Lunch & Learn features Jetta Wong with the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council held an engaging lunch & learn at UBS The Siler-Rhea Group’s office location in Downtown Knoxville.

The event included Jetta Wong, Senior Advisor at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator serving as keynote speaker.

Jetta has over 14 years of experience developing programs and policies that support energy and environment technologies. Prior to joining LACI, Jetta Wong established the Office of Technology Transitions for the United States Department of Energy and served as its first Director. In that capacity, she assisted the private sector, state and local governments, universities, laboratories and other stakeholders and engaged with the Department on the commercialization of new technology.

She spoke about the status of cleantech, several cleantech accomplishments within the Department of Energy, and the organization she works for the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator.

“Cleantech is here to stay, and it’s not just because we want it to but the numbers are there,” said Wong.

She talked about how wind and solar are now competitive in several parts of the country, and that the audience should continue to think about how cleantech can continue to be competitive.

“Since 2008 distributed PV, utility-scale PV, wind power, and batteries have decreased in cost, and that’s what we need to see because that’s what innovation is all about,” said Wong.

She stressed the importance of economics and again that the cleantech sector is here to stay. She also talked about how the U.S. is in competition with China when it comes to cleantech. It’s been recently announced that China will invest $360 billion by 2020 in renewable energy, averaging $120 billion a year.

“We also need to be thinking about how we can bring private capital back into clean energy,” said Wong.

For more on Jetta’s presentation, visit TAEBC’s Facebook page.

Several ‘National Drive Electric Week’ events scheduled in Tennessee

National Drive Electric Week is happening between September 9-17 this year, and Tennessee has a long list of events celebrating the alternative energy vehicles.

National Drive Electric Week is a nationwide celebration to heighten awareness of today’s widespread availability of plug-in vehicles and highlights the benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more.

Started in 2011 as National Plug In Day with the simple idea to hold simultaneous events across the country on the same day, by popular demand the organizations has expanded to an entire week of events and changed the name to emphasize: drive electric. The organization expects National Drive Electric Week 2017 will again grow to include more events in more cities with more drivers reaching out to share the many advantages of driving electric with the public.

Each event is led by local plug-in drivers and advocates and typically includes some combination of EV parades, ride-and-drives, electric tailgate parties, press conferences, award ceremonies, informational booths, and more. Plug In AmericaSierra Club, and the Electric Auto Association serve as the national team providing support to the events throughout the country.

In Tennessee specifically, the following events have been planned:

  • In Memphis on Saturday, September 9 at Shelby Farms park in and around the EV charging stations under the solar panels, owners of electric cars will be on hand to show their cars and share their electric car ownership experiences. This will be happening from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • In Knoxville on Saturday, September 16 at the Whole Foods Market off Papermill, visitors can talk to long-time owners of electric vehicles and learn more about the different electric vehicles available today. Attendees can also learn about public electric vehicle charging stations at Whole Foods Market locations. You’re invited to come by and drive yourself in an all-electric Nissan LEAF from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • In Chattanooga on Station Street next to the Chattanooga Choo Choo, Drive Electric – Chattanooga has been invited to join this “Second Saturdays on Station Street” event. Several EV owners will be in attendance to display their vehicles and to answer questions from visitors. Several displays will also be visible to educate visitors on the many advantages to driving electric. This event is happening Saturday, September 9 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Energy Mentor Network Spotlight: Ben Jordan

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council is continuing its series of feature stories highlighting the mentors behind the Energy Mentor Network program offering industry specific expertise.

The Energy Mentor Network‘s goal is to foster the growth of Tennessee advanced energy technologies and startups by connecting entrepreneurs with mentors. This gives Tennessee yet another advantage in grabbing its more than fair share of the $1.4 trillion global advanced energy market.

The Energy Mentor Network is run by the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council in partnership with Launch Tennessee.

In broad strokes, the Energy Mentor Network pairs mentors with promising new companies and entrepreneurs through a structured program involving panel presentations and mentoring sessions.

The purpose of the program is to develop quality startups. After completing the program, startups will have an investable pitch deck, a rock solid business model and a plan to establish more traction. These tools will position Tennessee’s entrepreneurs to raise capital, request other funds like SBIR grants, and scale their company.

This week TAEBC highlights Ben Jordan, Manufacturing Manager for Centrus Energy Corporation’s Technology and Manufacturing Center. He has 20 years of experience with manufacturing, engineering, operations management, research and design, and entrepreneurship.

He is responsible for $50M+ of precision manufacturing equipment including precision CNC machine tools as well as the associated inspection and certification equipment. He is also responsible for business development in this role.

He joined Centrus from Fleetguard (Cummins Subsidiary) where he served as the Manufacturing Supervisor. In this capacity, he was responsible for the financial performance, production targets, and quality performance of two high change-over assembly lines.

He earned a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He has obtained certification as a Project Management Professional and is a Derivative Classifier of Centrifuge information.

TAEBC is continuing to accept mentors for the Energy Mentor Program. If you are interested in this opportunity, please visit the “For Mentors” section of the Energy Mentor Network portion of TAEBC’s website.

Technov865 to showcase latest UTRF, ORNL technologies

Technov865 is promising a full line-up of the latest tech coming out of East Tennessee from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee Research Foundation.

The event will be held Tuesday, September 19 from 2:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST at The Square Room in Market Square in Downtown Knoxville.

It will be an exclusive opportunity to meet and hear from the inventors, and the event will also feature several speakers with unique perspectives on innovation.

Jetta Wong, Senior Advisor at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), will serve as featured keynote speaker.

Jetta has over 14 years of experience developing programs and policies that support energy and environment technologies. Prior to joining LACI, Jetta Wong established the Office of Technology Transitions for the United States Department of Energy and served as its first Director. In that capacity, she assisted the private sector, state and local governments, universities, laboratories and other stakeholders and engaged with the Department on the commercialization of new technology.

If you’re interested in attending Technov865, click here.

Along with the inventors, leaders from TVA, UTRF, and ORNL will speak about the exciting innovation and technology happening at their organizations including:

  • Joe Hoagland, TVA’s Vice President of Stakeholder Relations
  • Stacey Patterson, Interim University of Tennessee Vice President for Research
  • Tom Rogers, Director of Industrial Partnerships & Economic Development at ORNL
  • Mike Paulus, Director of the Technology Transfer Office at ORNL

The Innovation Crossroads’ innovators will also be presenting during this event. Innovation Crossroads is a program based at ORNL that matches aspiring energy entrepreneurs with the experts, mentors, and networks in technology-related fields to take their world-changing ideas from R&D to the marketplace.

Anna Douglas with SkyNano Technologies, Mitchell Ishmael with Active Energy Systems, and Matthew Ellis and Samuel Shaner with Yellowstone Energy were selected to transform their ideas into clean energy companies with financial support from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). These three teams will be giving presentations during Technov865.

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council and Launch Tennessee provide non-exclusive business mentoring services to the Innovation Crossroads innovators.

Anna Douglas will also be pitching on Startup Day 2017 happening September 21, 2017 at the U.S. Cellular Stage at the Bijou Theatre. She will be competing for up to $15,000 in cash prizes, including the Startup Day 2017 Crowd Favorite Prize presented by SunTrust Bank.

Several TAEBC members make 2017 Top 500 Solar Contractors List

TAEBC members Signal Energy Constructors, Tennessee Solar Solutions, and ARiES Solar got recognized as some of North America’s best solar contractors by ranking in the top 500 solar companies in the country.

Signal Energy Constructors ranked in the top 20, Tennessee Solar Solutions ranked #240, and ARiES Solar achieved a #301 ranking out of 500 solar companies. Solar Power World magazine created the Top 500 Solar Contractors List. The list is designed to observe solar contractors’ work across the U.S. and Canada. The companies who made the list make a lasting impact in the industry by providing jobs and offering electricity consumers more options.

The list describes the company’s location, how many employees it has, its primary market, and details its primary service. Ranks are determined by the number of megawatts a company was involved with installing in 2016 in North America only. If two companies reported the same 2016 numbers, they were sorted by total megawatts installed.

According to the list, Signal Energy Constructors installed 424 total megawatts for 2016 alone. By also employing 127 people, the company has managed to build more than 1,413 megawatts since it was founded in 2005 in Chattanooga.

As for Tennessee Solar Solutions, the company installed 2.6 total megawatts for 2016. With 23 employees, Tennessee Solar Solutions overall has produced 11.3 megawatts since it was founded in 2007 in Chattanooga.

Also according to the list, ARiES Solar installed 1.4 total megawatts for 2016. With 18 employees, the company overall has produced 2.2 megawatts since it was founded in 2011 in Knoxville.