Oh Say Can You See? Air Pollution and the Smoky Mountains

Back in 1990, average visibility in the Smoky Mountains was just 25 miles. Since then, reductions in air pollution have made it possible for visitors to see as far as 46 miles. In the absence of any air pollution, however, visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park would be able to see a whopping [...]

In Case You Missed It, There’s a Clean Energy Jobs Boom in Tennessee

Clean energy means different things to different people. Some might picture suburban rooftops adorned in sparkly solar panels on a bright summer day. Others might envision an idyllic green-grass, blue-sky pasture framing an expanse of pearly white wind turbines. However, for many Tennesseans, clean energy means a rewarding career with above-average pay. A recent statewide [...]

New EmPower TN initiative set to cut state utility bills by an estimated 28% with energy efficiency and renewable energy

Tennessee lawmakers have recently demonstrated that investing in clean energy is not a partisan issue, so much as it’s just plain common sense. In the majority-Republican General Assembly, the state budget was approved with tens of millions of dollars for new investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy, predicted to yield $1 billion in savings [...]

EPA Launches New Environmental Justice Mapping Tool

Below is a guest post from Stephanie Maddin, Legislative Counsel for Earthjustice. SACE chose to share this post to draw attention to this new resource provided by EPA, as well as the specific impacts of environmental justice present in the Southeastern United States. The article was originally posted in June 2015 and can be found [...]

Southeast Utility-Scale Solar: Cost-Effective for Customers

The Southeast is seeing a growing trend towards major utility-scale solar PPAs in the past few years. These deals are great for customers, because the prices are so low that they are helping utilities lock in cost savings over the long term. They are great for the utilities, because solar power is a reliable source [...]

Massive Wind Power Opportunities for Tennessee

Tennessee is home to the Southeast’s first wind farm, the Buffalo Mountain wind project. This wind farm was installed nearly a decade ago and is still meeting performance goals and expectations. Several other wind farms have been proposed in Tennessee. Meanwhile, the Tennessee Valley Authority is currently purchasing over 1,500 megawatts of wind power from the upper-Plains states. High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission projects, like the Plains and Eastern project, would inject thousands of megawatts of new high quality, low cost wind power for the Volunteer State.

Lengthy Environmental Review Covers Bases for Wind Power Transmission

The Plains and Eastern Clean Line, a high voltage direct current transmission project, would connect more than 3,500 megawatts of high quality, low cost wind power from western Oklahoma and Texas deep into Arkansas and Tennessee. The 720 mile long power line is presently undergoing a federal environmental impact statement review by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Weighing in at 3,700 pages, the hulking review document exhaustively covers just about any impact the project may have.

Black History Month Energy Champions: Rep. Johnnie Turner Recognizes the Energy and Poverty Nexus

In honor of Black History Month, SACE is publishing a blog series highlighting the efforts of African American leaders working to ensure that clean energy opportunities are available for all people and communities in the Southeast. This post is the final in the 2015 series; find previous 2015 posts here. TN State Representative Johnnie Turner is no stranger [...]

Wind Power Transmission Project Could Create Tens of Thousands of Jobs

The Plains and Eastern Clean Line project would connect up to 4,000 megawatts of wind power capacity to the southeast. As part of the federal Department of Energy’s Environmental Impact Statement review, the DOE estimates the socioeconomic impacts of the proposed 720-mile high voltage direct current transmission project. Job creation estimates are included in the socioeconomic impacts portions of the EIS. Based on the EIS jobs estimates, lifetime job estimates may conservatively approach tens of thousands of jobs for the Plains and Eastern Clean Line project.

Wind Power Transmission Project Would Provide Health Benefits

A newly proposed transmission project would connect high quality wind power to the southeast. The proposed Plains and Eastern Clean Line project would provide up to 4,000 megawatts of wind power from western Oklahoma and Texas to the southeast. The project is currently undergoing a federal Department of Energy Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) review process to evaluate potential impacts from the 720-mile high voltage direct current transmission project. Instead of focusing solely on negative impacts, the EIS also weighs a few of the benefits of the proposed project.