On July 27, the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) hosted its annual Lunch and Learn with the Tennessee Valley Authority, featuring Chief Executive Officer and President Jeff Lyash. During the virtual event, Lyash discussed TVA’s partnerships and commitment to advanced energy in Tennessee and the southeast.
Cortney Piper, Executive Director of TAEBC, kicked off the event, highlighting TAEBC’s commitment to supporting TVA in becoming an energy company of the future. Piper also mentioned the upcoming release of the 2021 Tennessee Advanced Energy Economic Impact Report, which will provide new insight into how advanced energy is a powerful engine driving Tennessee’s economy.
“TAEBC’s mission is to champion advanced energy as an economic development and job creation strategy,” said Piper.
During his presentation, Lyash spoke about TVA’s advanced energy priorities and major successes over the last year, including TVA’s partnership to build a fast charging network for electric vehicles across the state of Tennessee, Flexibility Program opportunities, TVA’s partnership with Green Invest and much more.
“Advanced energy in all its many facets is essential to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, shrinking our carbon footprint and transitioning to cleaner energy sources,” said Lyash. “Our challenge is building the energy system of the future. Low carbon, low cost and high reliability are imperatives.”
Lyash also spoke about the important role advanced energy plays in society and economic development.
“Advanced energy lies at the heart of making today’s energy systems more diverse, more secure, more responsive and more flexible than ever before,” said Lyash. “Today, more than 3 million Americans are employed in the advanced energy industry. It’s important to understand why advanced energy helps society.”
Following his presentation, Lyash was joined by TVA’s Dan Stout, Director of Nuclear Technology Innovation, and Amy Henry, Director of Research and Technology Innovation, for audience Q&A. The speakers answered questions on a range of topics, including the utility’s nuclear fleet and its commitment to electric vehicles.
“We are making agreements this year and creating corridors in certain areas that don’t have as many fast charging stations, unlike those in metropolitan areas,” said Henry about TVA’s fast-charging network. “Keep your eyes open for more announcements coming soon!”
Lyash also discussed Knoxville’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and the launch of Techstars’ Industries of the Future Accelerator during the Q&A, saying, “The Techstars accelerator that we’ve funded and partnered with the University of Tennessee and the Oak Ridge National Lab will deliver tremendous results. These companies will have access to our resources and business models which will allow them to scale their businesses.”
Thank you to our event sponsor and TAEBC Member Ameresco, a leading, independent clean tech integrator of comprehensive energy services including energy efficiency, infrastructure upgrades and renewable energy solutions for municipal, higher education, and utility clients throughout North America.