City's Solar Program Partners with Knox Heritage

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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City's Solar Program Partners with Knox Heritage

Posted: 05/27/2009
The City of Knoxville's Solar America Cities Program is partnering with Knox Heritage in the restoration of one of the Victorian-era houses on the edge of Fort Sanders and World's Fair Park. 
The partnership, using grant funding, expects to install three different solar energy devices on the house at 1011 Laurel as part of the effort to make the restored home a showplace of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

The installations will feature a type of solar photovoltaic panel that is integrated into the metal roof of the house and possibly traditional solar photovoltaic panels on a separate structure such as a pavilion or covered parking area.

These technologies will use the sun's energy to generate electricity, which will be sold back to the Tennessee Valley Authority, and help offset the home's electricity bills.

The third device, a solar hot water heater, will be used to preheat water, thereby increasing energy efficiency and lowering water heating bills by reducing the need for a traditional hot water heater.

The city and Knox Heritage would like the house to serve as a demonstration project for local contractors, business owners and residents interested in taking advantage of energy efficient and solar technologies. Particularly notable is the integration of these technologies into a historic home. 
"This allows us to demonstrate the benefits of solar technology in a very visible location and as part of an innovative project," said Erin Burns, the city's Sustainability Coordinator. "We're also pleased at the opportunity to work with Knox Heritage to revitalize a historic house in one of the city's most unique neighborhoods and do so in a way that promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies." 
Knoxville was selected as a Solar America City - one of only 25 in the nation - by the U.S. Department of Energy last year. The designation has led to the city receiving more than $500,000 so far in funding and technical assistance from the DOE, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and TVA to develop a sustainable solar energy infrastructure in Knoxville by reducing the barriers to the increased installation of solar technologies.