TVA Offers $2M in New Connected Communities Grants
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. ― The Tennessee Valley Authority announced Monday up to $2 million in grants through its Connected Communities initiative in 2023 for local communities across the agency’s seven-state service region. As many as eight projects will be selected, with a maximum award of $750,000 per project, to help improve quality of life and equity through innovative, community-driven solutions.
TVA is hosting a webinar Tuesday, April 4, 2023, from 2-3 p.m. ET for participants to learn more about this opportunity. Visit the Connected Communities web page and click the “Register Now” button on the right side of the page to sign up for the Call for Pilots Round 2 Webinar, or to learn more about current Connected Communities initiative pilot projects.
Started in 2022, Connected Communities supports TVA’s efforts to create the nation’s most advanced energy system while aspiring to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. By expanding access to technology, local communities can test approaches that will improve access to digital services, create a healthy environment, scale economic opportunities or better prepare for natural disasters and cyberthreats.
With 14 pilot projects currently active, TVA is looking to expand the scope and geography of communities working to leverage technology- and data-related solutions. The latest Call for Pilot Projects will open in April and close in June, with project selection announcements expected this September.
Dr. Joe Hoagland, vice president, TVA Innovation & Research, said this new round of funding aims to advance new innovative concepts not addressed in current pilot projects. “Technology and innovation are the keys to improving our communities and quality of life in the region,” he said. “These funds provide tremendous potential for standing up selected projects that will create benefits for the communities that lead them and will serve as examples for other areas of the region.”
Pilot projects under the previous round of funding have addressed activities such as monitoring indoor environmental health, offering coding training programs, installing broadband hotspots, providing digital literacy education, installing solar and battery storage, and advancing educational resources.
A Connected Communities grant is currently helping East Tennessee PBS to increase interest in vocational and science, technology, engineering and math career fields. According to East Tennessee PBS Chief Development/Marketing Officer Barbara Shipley, introducing students to STEM as early as possible will help fuel the region’s talent pipeline. “The financial support from the TVA Connected Communities pilot program is providing us the ability to address a critical community issue – workforce development – in a very dynamic way that builds on our organization’s core strength — early childhood education,” she said.
More information about TVA’s Connected Communities initiative, including community resources and tools, is available at TVA.gov/ConnectedCommunities.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is the nation’s largest public power supplier, delivering energy to 10 million people across seven southeastern states. TVA was established 90 years ago to serve this region and the nation by developing innovative solutions to solve complex challenges. TVA’s unique mission focuses on energy, environmental stewardship, and economic development. With one of the largest, most diverse, and cleanest energy systems – including nuclear, hydro, solar, gas, and advanced technologies – TVA is a leader in our nation’s drive toward a clean energy future.
TVA is a corporate agency of the United States, receiving no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation, and land management for the Tennessee River system, and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation. Learn more at Energy System of the Future.