A Green Turn of Events
Sep. 3, 2018
Chattanooga is an event planner’s dream. With verdant mountains, a winding river and a vibrant downtown, we're the perfect backdrop for weddings, meetings, conventions, trade shows or reunions.
To help make Chattanooga an even more attractive place to visit, the Electric Power Board (EPB) of Chattanooga is offering a solution that makes events and visits eco-friendly: Solar Share, which allows you to offset the carbon footprint of your special occasion with locally generated renewable energy.
“There is a growing trend to ‘green-up’ events, which is good for business and our environment,” says Elizabeth Hammitt, EPB director of community and environmental stewardship. “Solar Share makes renewable energy accessible to virtually everyone. Whether you own a home or business, rent an apartment, cannot install a rooftop solar system or are planning a special event, supporting sustainable energy and environmental stewardship is easy with Solar Share.”
Solar Share is Chattanooga’s first community solar power generation option, which was developed as a partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority. Solar Share gives people and businesses an easy, affordable way to go solar and reduce their carbon footprint with multiple options for participation.
Local Energy, Global Impact
Hammitt says that nearly 3 million visitors spend almost $690 million each year in Chattanooga.
“There is a tremendous opportunity for Solar Share to help reduce the carbon footprint of each visit and event.”
With the world racing to reduce carbon emissions, EPB is meeting the challenge.
“Our solution is fully scalable,” Hammitt says. “We offer meeting planners and visitors the ability to purchase one-time energy offsets for all or a portion of their conference, trade show, wedding or vacation.”
To make it simple, EPB has an offset calculator on their website to help you see how many offsets you will need. Hammitt says offsets could cost under $1 per attendee, depending on how far they travel and how long they stay. With a purchase of energy offsets, EPB provides a digital certificate and authorized use of the Solar Share logo on invitations, signage and websites.
“People want to make eco-friendly choices when they travel, and EPB Solar Share gives them peace of mind that the event they attend benefits them and the environment."
Valley Renewable Energy
With the help of TVA, renewable energy in the Tennessee Valley has grown exponentially—from five solar locations in 2000 to more than 3,500 locations in 2018.
“We know consumers want a cleaner future and we want to give them smart energy choices,” says Tammy Bramlett, TVA director of business development and renewables.
Unlike a rooftop solar installation on a house, community solar programs like EPB’s Solar Share benefits everyone in the utility’s service area.
“Right now about 1.4 million electric power customers can choose community solar in the Tennessee Valley,” Bramlett says. “EPB is a great partner, and their vision has extended the Valley’s community solar reach to the millions of people who visit our city.”
TVA reports that there are 10 community solar facilities operating or in development across the Tennessee Valley providing solar power access to about 15 percent of the region’s population.
Bramlett explained that no two community solar programs are the same because community solar offers cities the flexibility to tailor renewable energy offerings that best meet their community’s needs. EPB’s Solar Share is a perfect example.
“Solar power has a bright future in the Tennessee Valley,” Bramlett says. She should know, because TVA is planning to invest around $8 billion in renewable energy over the next 20 years.
Learn more about EPB Solar Share at epb.com/solarshare.