How to get the TN-CET Grant

When deciding on the merits of this solar project, economics has to make sense or the project does not go forward or if so only at a smaller scale. One of the biggest game changers is the [[|Tennessee Clean Energy Technology Grant Program (TN-CET)]]. Tennessee companies of any size are eligible to receive grants of up to 40% of the total installed system cost up to $75,000.

The Following are what I believe you need to prepare and send to ECD for the TN-CET Grant.

  1. An [[|Application For Grant Assistance]] Form EC-0537; must be completed, signed and filed with the Grants and Loans Division of the Department of Economic and Community Development. This application, along with additional information on the grant program, can be obtained by contacting the Grants and Loans Division, by phone, at 615.253.1943 or by mail at 312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue -10th Floor, Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0405.
  2. Complete information about the project including what is proposed, size and output of the system [[|See PVWATTS Solar Calculator ]]
  3. Complete [[|System Schematic Wiring Diagram]]

  4. Specifications on the brand of solar panels and inverter including proof of UL Listinginstalled cost.

  5. The anticipated reduction in energy and other associated costs (including demand charges and existing system operation and maintenance costs)

  6. Estimated total system installed cost.

  7. The target start and completion dates

  8. Information on the contractor/installer. 

  9. Maybe a [[|Basic System Layout]]  

  10. Design Analysis is required. These analysis are free through ECD and will be ordered by the Loans and Grants Division. Simple Payback and Net Present Value (NPV) methodologies. No paper work is required here because ECD will handle producing this analysis.

  11. The applicant must not begin work on the proposed project until receipt of a fully executed grant contract. ONE EXCEPTION. To install the photovoltaic system before ECD approves it, is to fill out the [[|CERTIFICATION TO INCUR COST (CTIC) Application]]. Incur means to encounter; to contract; to be liable or subject to. You promise to complete project. If INCUR Application is not used then the TN-CET application must be approved before any solar parts are installed.

I filled out the [[|Application For Grant Assistance]], called Clinton Berry (Clinton has since left ECD and Jeff Bolton is now the CET lead contact) at TN Dept. of Economic and Community Development (ECD) in May 2009. Mr. Berry explained, then emailed info that explained what information was wanted from me besides the application.

It takes a few weeks to a couple of months to get the application for grant assistance approved. I snail mail the application, ECD checks it and mails it to University of Memphis Engineering Dept. If they approve it, the application will return to Nashville and ECD and I am contacted to go ahead. After the system is up and running I contact ECD. They send out a inspector and if all is as planned I get the OK on the grant. Then in matter of weeks in comes a check for 40% of the cost of the solar system.