Written by Anne Paine, The Tennessean
The second Tennessee Valley Solar Solutions Conference starts Tuesday, bringing local and national speakers to discuss energy policy, smart grid technology, innovation and job growth.
The Tennessee Valley Authority and Tennessee Solar Institute are hosts at the two-day event, which this year is held at the Memphis Cook Convention Center.
Julia Hamm, president of the Solar Electric Power Association, will present a vision for making solar energy a top utility portfolio fuel source by 2030. Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, an expert on energy and national security, will discuss how the country's dependence on fossil fuels generally - and oil specifically - is a serious threat to national security.
Tours of the University of Tennessee Living Light House from the 2011 Solar Decathlon and the 999-kW solar array at the Memphis Agricenter will be conducted on the second day.
The solar energy industry is a growing sector of the state's economy, with 180 for-profit entities in Tennessee's solar value chain and more than 6,400 people employed in solar-related industries, according to TSI. Recent reports show solar represents a $137 billion global market with Tennessee companies actively competing in the global marketplace.
More at tnsolarsolutions.org.