• Volunteer State News
  • April 7, 2010 | Author: Elena Babaeva Coradini
  • Law Firm: Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP - Nashville Office
  • The city of Crossville is working to make the city more energy efficient.  The Crossville sustainability project began in 2007, and in 2008 the city joined forces with the UT Master of Science in Planning program to develop a report of action.  The city held a Sustainability Fair which was open to the community and developed several other goals for the project, including:

    The city has begin a storm water management program to retain water in new developments and regulate land disturbance, upgrade its wastewater treatment facility and is taking part in the Cumberland Habitat Conservation Plan.

    The city is doubling its peak capacity at the wastewater treatment plant, which will allow for increased growth of the city. It's a $6.5 million project being paid for through a combination of loans and grant funds. Storm water management was already required when the city's population reached 10,000 residents.

    The Habitat Conservation Plan is an agreement between a city or county and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that allows a community to develop land while reducing the impact on wildlife and their habitats. Communities must have regulations in place to govern construction projects, road building and public utility lines. It addresses issues of endangered species prior to development.

    The city is also preparing to turn used cooking oil from local restaurants, schools and homes into fuel for city vehicles as part of the city's biodiesel project.

    That project is scheduled to begin within the next two months, with the city first converting heavy machinery to use the fuel.

    Traffic lights are being replaced with LED bulbs in the city. Eighteen of the 35 traffic signals in the city have already been upgraded. The project is expensive and time consuming, noted Graham, but it has a short payback time, offering enough energy savings in seven years to pay for the initial costs. . . .

    New city buildings or upgrades of city facilities will meet high energy standards, and energy audits of all city buildings have been completed.

    The city continues to look for grant funds to help pay for energy efficiency upgrades for city facilities.

    The Plateau Travel Center is being upgraded to offer plug-ins for tractor trailer rigs to power their heating and air conditioning units overnight so the trucks don't have to run continuously. Graham said there were plans to offer places to plug in electric cars and replenish their power at the Plateau Travel Center. . . .

    Tennessee Technology Center at Crossville is offering a weatherization and energy audit certification program. It is one of only 38 centers in the country offering a home energy rating system certification.

    And in East Tennessee news: Alcoa has dedicated $24 million expansion of aluminum can recycling capacity at their Tennessee Operations, which will increase recycling capability by nearly 50% and help secure more than 100 jobs.