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October 15, 2023 | Tom Ballard

This year’s “Opportunities in Energy” program has a robust mix of content

Scheduled for November 15 at The Standard in Knoxville, the headliners are former Tennessee Governors Lamar Alexander and Phil Bredesen.

Since I have not only attended every “Opportunities in Energy” program hosted by the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council but also participated in some way in many, one might say that I have a unique perspective, and the upcoming annual session is the most content-rich in history.

Scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. November 15 at The Standard on West Jackson Avenue in Knoxville, the theme might be the evolution of the advanced energy economy in Tennessee in so many different ways.

  • There are a couple of sessions focused on the automotive industry – from 30 years ago when then Governor Lamar Alexander convinced Nissan to open its first U.S. plant in Smyrna to today’s landscape as a major player in the electric vehicle revolution. That also includes the new National Science Foundation-funded TEAM TN Others on the panel include former Governor Phil Bredesen, who worked closely to land Volkswagen’s new plant in Chattanooga, and University of Tennessee President Randy Boyd who is a champion of something called TNGO, an initiative to make Tennessee the #1 destination for mobility R&D investment in the Southeast.
  • The Oak Ridge-Knoxville region has become an epicenter for advanced manufacturing and advanced composites, and Chad Duty, the still relatively new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), will provide an update on the cutting-edge industry that is driving innovation and revolutionizing manufacturing processes.
  • Representatives from Hitachi Zosen Inova USA LLC, which announced a major expansion for its Knoxville-based North American hub nearly a year ago, and 3 Rivers Energy Partners will describe a project that utilizes spent stillage from the bourbon industry to produce renewable natural gas (RNG) that will power the distillery. The new anaerobic digestion plant will allow the distillery to reduce its carbon footprint and future greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Knoxville’s Misty Mayes, CEO of Management Solutions LLC, will discuss the significance of a $192 million contract awarded to her company by the U.S. Department of Energy and the pivotal role her team is set to play in supporting the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations across the country from East Tennessee.
  • Other sessions include one on the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator’s Debt Fund, a first-of-its-kind loan program to grow early stage cleantech start-ups, and a panel discussion on greenhouse gas and carbon offset strategies.
  • Finally, the teams from the “Innovation Crossroads” program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the “Spark Cleantech Accelerator” at UT’s Spark Innovation Center will give brief pitches about their start-ups.

To register, click here.

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