Six Signs of Progress with Clean Energy Growth in the Southeast

Ashleigh Sherman | November 24, 2023 | Clean Energy Generation, Clean Transportation, Energy Efficiency, Energy Justice, Solar

The Clean Energy Generation is making progress every day here in the Southeast. From the world’s busiest airport and historically Black neighborhood going solar, to renewable energy outspending fossil fuels, our clean energy future is becoming a reality. Take a look at just six of the many inspiring signs of clean energy adoption in the Southeast we’ve seen this fall.

Rep. Clyburn announces $2.6 million aimed at South Carolina’s push for renewable energy

Over $2.6 million in USDA Rural Energy for America funding projects will impact South Carolina, according to South Carolina congressman James E. Clyburn (D). Made possible by the federal Inflation Reduction Act, the funding will help increase renewable energy usage and energy efficiency initiatives across the state, particularly aimed at lowering utility bills for South Carolina residents. Read more.

To make operations greener, the Atlanta airport is looking to the sun

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is looking skyward and going solar. The world’s busiest airport plans to add solar panels to as many as 16 buildings around airport grounds over the next few years, taking a solid step toward greening a carbon-intensive industry.

“Either we can buy fossil fuel energy or we can buy clean energy,” said Hartsfield-Jackson General Manager Balram Bheodari. He said the goal is to move toward clean energy, “in line with our sustainability management plan of reducing the airport’s overall carbon footprint.” The move is part of a years-long effort by the city to make its operations more sustainable, with Atlanta having previously added solar panels to fire stations and recreation centers. Read more.

Solar panels are coming to homes in Hillsborough’s historically Black neighborhood Progress Village

Progress Village, the historically Black suburb in Hillsborough County, Florida, was created through redlining and has long been subject to environmental impacts from nearby industrial operations and natural disasters. Now, a new public-private initiative headed up by local advocates called Project Green Strike is helping Progress Village families save money on energy bills through energy-efficient weatherization upgrades and solar panel installations.

Reformed convicts make up the workforce behind the home weatherization and solar panel installations, and Project Green Strike is also working to bring solar to Black-owned farms and churches. Read more.

Chattanooga’s EPB plans nearly $65 million power grid, storage upgrade

Chattanooga’s electricity grid will undergo nearly $65 million in upgrades over the next five years to reduce both the number and duration of power outages for EPB’s nearly 180,000 customers.

The grid upgrades, made possible by funding from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will include burying another 101 miles of power lines, replacing at least 1,388 aging poles, and building six new microgrids for backup power. Read more.

Toyota more than doubles investment and job creation at North Carolina battery plant

Toyota will invest an additional $8 billion in the hybrid and electric vehicle battery factory it’s building outside of Greensboro, North Carolina, bringing the automaker’s total investment to $13.9 billion.

The company estimates the new investment will create about 3,000 additional jobs, bringing the total to more than 5,000 jobs. Toyota hopes to sell between 1.5 million and 1.8 million electric or hybrid vehicles in the U.S. by 2030. Read more.

Chart: Clean energy attracting nearly twice as much investment as fossils

Clean energy projects now attract nearly $2 for every $1 spent on fossil fuels. The ratio is a marked improvement from just five years ago, when the ratio was closer to 1-to-1. $1.7 trillion is expected to be invested in clean energy in 2023, compared to $1 trillion on fossil fuels. This clean energy money is flowing to sectors like low-emissions power, energy efficiency, batteries, and electrification. Read more.

Follow along each week

These stories highlight just a few of the positive solutions that are making an impact in the Southeast! Every day we see signs of hope and progress in the clean energy transition. The Clean Energy Generation is creating a future powered by clean energy that leads to clean air and water, good jobs, and vibrant communities.

Would you like to see more stories like this? We’ve got just the thing for you! Every Thursday, we share the latest clean energy news on Instagram with #CleanEnergyNews. Join us as we celebrate the progress and signs of hope in the clean energy transition.

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Together, all of us who are taking action are part of the Clean Energy Generation movement. We’re coming together to create healthier communities and a more secure and sustainable environment, starting now. No matter your age, income, zip code, or abilities, you can play a role. You don’t have to have the answers, learning more is a great way to start. Join us, and we’ll share ideas, resources, tools, and practices to show how we can all be part of the transformation.

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Ashleigh Sherman
Ashleigh Sherman is the SACE Digital Communications Manager. She oversees the strategy behind and management of our social media accounts, leveraging SACE’s digital channels to drive awareness, engagement, and action.…
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