The Tennessee Solar Energy Industries Association (TenneSEIA) put its mission into practice at its annual TN Valley Solar Conference at the Embassy Suites hotel in Franklin on Wednesday.
Working with a donation from Middle Tennessee Electric's Distributed Energy Resources group, TenneSEIA offset the entire day's electrical usage at the hotel via Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to make the conference carbon neutral.
This means that on the day of the meeting, the hotel was powered by renewable energy.
On an average day, the Embassy Suites hotel in Franklin will use 12,516 kwh. Through the donation of 13 RECs generated by MTE's Cooperative Solar field, the organization was able to completely offset the electrical usage on the day of their conference.
Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), also known as green energy certificates or tradable renewable certificates are proof that energy has been generated from renewable sources such as solar or wind power. Each REC represents the environmental benefits of 1MWh of renewable energy generation.
"We are thrilled that Middle Tennessee Electric saw fit to support TenneSEIA in such an appropriate way. We believe that solar energy is the best renewable energy source available today," said Chris Koczaja, president of TenneSEIA. "Our mission is to make solar energy a mainstream energy source and realize the full potential of the Solar Industry in the state of Tennessee."
Middle Tennessee Electric's Cooperative Solar Program provides solar energy access to members who might otherwise be excluded from owning and installing their own solar electricity generation due to obstacles like improper roof orientation, excessive roof shading, restrictive subdivision covenants or landlord prohibitions. The co-op operates a one-megawatt array in College Grove, Tennessee.
Chris Jones, MTE CEO and President added, "At Middle Tennessee Electric, our goal is to be a Trusted Energy Advocate for our members. This includes varied energy sources such as solar generation. We are very happy to support TenneSEIA and are always interested in the seeing how the solar industry in our service area continues to evolve."
Photo: MTEMC President & CEO Chris Jones presents Carbon Neutral recognition to Matt Brown of Silicon Ranch and TenneSEIA Board of Directors.