Alternative Energy Sources
Since 2008, UTC student Green Fees have funded Green Power purchases of renewable energy. Through the Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA) Green Power Switch program, UTC purchased 675,000 KwH of electricity annually, generated from renewable sources such as wind, solar or biomass.
In 2013, UTC participated in TVA's pilot Southeastern Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) program to increase its purchase of Green Power to 6 million KwH each year, or 13% of the annual electricity consumption. In 2018, UTC purchased 14.4 million KwH, increasing the renewable energy consumption from 13% to 30%.
Under this program, electricity is generated by independently owned, Green-e certified, low-impact, hydro-electric companies located within the Southeast energy market. This year's purchase is equivalent to avoiding about 17.6 million lbs of CO2 emissions, equal to the emissions of 879,840 gallons of gasoline!
Two geothermal projects are in the planning phase, positioning UTC as the first UT campus to use ground-source heating and cooling. The Department of Engineering has received a grant to install a geothermal system at the Test Track, and the Student Green Fee is funding a geothermal installation at the Human Resource Center.
The Challenger STEM Learning Center hosts an array of photovoltaic panels on its roof, generating 9 KwH of electricity. This project was funded in part by green | spaces Chattanooga, with support from the Lyndhurst Foundation.