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UT Campus to Become More Energy Efficient

KNOXVILLE -- TVA, The University of Tennessee, and KUB have partnered to put together a long-term plan which will enhance the efficiency of energy and energy management on the UT campus.

The Tennessee Valley Authority and the University of Tennessee, in partnership with Knoxville Utilities Board, have agreed to develop a long-term plan to enhance energy efficiency and energy management on the university's Knoxville campus.

A 10-year strategic energy roadmap will be created jointly by TVA's EnergyRight Solutions for Business program and the UT campus. Their efforts will include setting targets for electricity demand reduction and annual energy savings. The plan would have potential to become a blueprint for energy management programs at other colleges and universities.

"TVA, in conjunction with our 155 local power distributors, has made improved energy efficiency a centerpiece of our vision for a cleaner energy future. Implementing innovative new programs like this are key to fulfilling that vision," said Bob Balzar, TVA vice president for Energy Efficiency and Demand Response. "I applaud the University of Tennessee for partnering with TVA and KUB to develop a program that will serve as a model for college and university campuses throughout the Tennessee Valley region."

UT Knoxville is one of the largest green power purchasers in the Southeast and is often recognized for its student-led environmental initiatives. In 2005, students approved a special fee to fund green energy purchases and other sustainable initiatives. Since 2008, faculty, staff and students have worked to reduce overall energy consumption, saving more than $1 million.

"We look forward to working with TVA and KUB on a 10-year energy management plan to enhance our energy and cost reduction efforts and lessen the overall impact of our operations," UT-Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek said. "Our students, faculty and staff have made UT a national leader in campus sustainability and this project will enhance our efforts and serve as a model for other colleges and universities."

TVA also will conduct training for campus energy managers, recommend systems to measure energy performance of UT Knoxville's buildings, develop peak and minimum load management strategies and help implement best practices for communicating energy efficiency efforts. The project's first phase is expected to be complete by fall 2011.

"We congratulate TVA and UT-K on this partnership," KUB President and CEO Mintha Roach said. "TVA's resources in the energy efficiency arena, coupled with UT-K's willingness to embark on this ambitious effort, will create a unique opportunity for all of us to learn more about how institutions can become more energy efficient."

A research-intensive institution, UT Knoxville ranks among U.S. News and World Report's Top 50 public universities and serves more than 27,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

Published June 1, 2011

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