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Tennessee Valley Smart Energy Communities

Project Description

Smart Energy Communities (Project A) will be established in one or more communities in the Tennessee Valley power service region to model the most efficient energy use processes and upgrades available. An example of such a project would be one that provides a range of energy efficiency technologies and the primary enabling elements of a smart grid (intelligent devices, two-way communications, and information management) on a typical power distributor system. Technology or efficiency applications could include but not be limited to: highefficiency appliances, high-efficiency air conditioning or water heating, lighting upgrades, smart meters, consumer interface/display devices, grid integrated renewable energy, energy storage, electric vehicle and vehicle charging, voltage optimization, and the full characterization of the carbon impact of such a deployment. Additionally, numerous opportunities exist for testing technologies that are being considered today. This project will also cover the demandresponse side, using energy efficiency with demand response to make a house function as a machine that works in conjunction with the power grid/power delivery system. Project A will be about exploring the opportunities and testing the interaction of smart grid devices and ultra-efficient homes. This project will take advantage of the investments local utilities have made in the smart grid system, and priority will be given to those areas that have advanced systems already in place.

Extreme Energy Makeovers (Project B) will be established for at least two communities of homes or residences located in different climate regions in the Tennessee Valley. Project B will include cost-effective, deep-energy retrofits, maximizing the use of the energy reduction measures and focusing on a whole house approach. These measures could include weatherization, air sealing, high-efficiency heat pumps, high-efficiency air conditioners, duct replacing/ repairing, ENERGY STAR windows, building envelope insulating, high efficiency light fixtures, crawl space and attic insulation, heat pump water heaters, ENERGY STAR appliances, and whole-house ventilation. Each home will go through a building diagnostic and analysis (energy audit), utilizing blower door testing to identify the most cost effective energy reduction measures. The measures implemented will be tailored to meet the needs of each home through implementation of the most cost-effective measures for the home. The target for Project B will be homes 20 years or older in lower-income communities. The goal of the Extreme Energy Makeover is to achieve a 25 percent energy reduction of the home's energy use. The estimated energy savings is 1,000 MWH/yr at approximately $10/square foot.

A component of the Smart Energy Communities and Extreme Energy Makeovers would be the development of tools and resources for educating consumers and communities on the benefits of such upgrades. In addition to providing each homeowner with custom training on the specific improvements on their home, TVA and TVA partners would hold public education demonstrations in communities to provide education on the Smart Communities, Extreme Energy Makeovers Projects and available resources.

Project Implementation

  1. Conduct a study of similar projects across the U.S. to determine best practices/lessons learned. This study will be instrumental in developing the Requests for Information (RFI) and Requests for Proposal (RFP).
  2. An RFI will seek to identify, according to capabilities and qualifications, local power companies and/or other potential partnering organizations to plan and implement the Smart Energy Community and Extreme Energy Makeover concept and its stated goals. This team will be required to obtain Mandatory Minimum Qualifications Certification to be considered for the RFP; local power companies that certify to TVA that they can fully meet these qualifications will be included in the RFP.
  3. An RFP will be released to all qualified teams to solicit detailed proposals. RFPs will be assessed on developed selection criteria.
  4. After RFP submittals are received and evaluated, projects will be awarded based on alignment with stated concept and goals, emissions reduction magnitudes, and capabilities and timeliness of achieving such reductions.
Project Milestones Dates*
Conduct study of similar projects October 2013 thru Spring 2014
Develop RFI Spring 2014
Publicize/Release RFI to solicit interested respondents Spring 2014
Evaluate RFI responses and qualify Project Teams Fall 2014
Develop and release RFP to qualified Project Teams Winter 2014/2015
Evaluate RFP Responses and designate Smart Energy Communities teams Winter 2015
Develop agreements with selected project teams Spring 2015
Initiate and conduct kick off meeting with selected project teams Summer 2015
Implement projects Summer 2015
Report to EPA Semi-annually

* Dates are tentative and subject to change

EPA Agreement Five-Year Budget

$20 million

Contact Information


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