Solar industry expected to survive in Tennessee
In two years, the Volunteer State Solar Initiative has made a major impact on renewable energy sources in the region, while creating many jobs for the hundreds of projects established. While many sources of funding for the project are expiring soon, the solar industry will survive, according to John Sanseverino, a columnist for the Tennessean.
Sanseverino writes that a number of prominent solar companies are located in the state, such as Hemlock Semiconductor, Wacker Chemie, Sharp Manufacturing, Shoals Technologies and AGC FlatGlass. These companies could each serve as an anchor for a state's industry, but each has committed their industry strengths to Tennessee.
According to the Tennessee government, the Volunteer State Solar Initiative was proposed by Governor Phil Bredesen in 2009. More than $60 million in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds were used to create renewable power production, as well as research, education and job creation in the solar industry.
The Tennessee Solar Institute at the University of Tennessee was included in the proposal, which focuses on improving the affordability and efficiency of solar products, as was the West Tennessee Solar Farm, a five-megawatt, 20-acre power facility.