Veteran-Led Solar Firm Efficient Energy of Tennessee Helps Department of Veteran Affairs Meet Renewable Energy Goals

Original Article:

A retired U.S. Navy veteran is on a mission to help the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs meet its goal to increase renewable energy consumption to 20 percent by 2020. Efficient Energy of Tennessee (EETN) has installed 6.5 megawatts (MW) of solar energy at some of the largest VA hospitals in the nation.

Robbie Thomas, a service disabled navy veteran and President of Knoxville-based EETN recently completed solar installations at four VA facilities: Olin E. Teague Veterans Medical Center, Temple, Texas; Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, Augusta, Georgia; West Texas VA Health Care System, Big Springs, Texas; and Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center, Wichita, Kansas. All facilities total 6.5 MWs of solar.

Efficient Energy’s recent projects helped to propel the company to a 129 ranking on the 2015 Top 500 list of North America Solar Contractors, as named by Solar Power World. Featuring everything from solar canopies to solar ground mounted and ground mounted ballasted systems, EETN’s projects are 100 percent Buy American Act compliant and tailored to meet the unique architectural needs of each VA hospital.

For example, the Big Springs installation implemented Preferred Arch Style, matching the arched aesthetics of the building, while the Augusta installation ground mounted system was specifically chosen due to the fact that they had ample amounts of surrounding property.

EETN’s scope of work for all VA projects included engineering, procurement, construction and design.

“Efficient Energy of Tennessee develops cost-effective solar installations that fit the specific needs of the client,” Thomas said. “Solar installations at VA hospitals support the department’s goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase its use of renewable energy and create new jobs.”

In total, the four VA hospital projects supported roughly 50 jobs per project.

Although Thomas, a military veteran with an engineering background, understands the positive impact solar installations bring to VA Hospitals, the scope of his company’s work extends beyond government-funded programs. The company also installs in the commercial sector, having installed solar systems at Wampler’s Farm Sausage, a 500 Kilowatt (kW) grid-tie solar photovoltaic system, in Lenoir City, Tennessee; ViscoTec Automotive, a 400 kW roof mounted system, in Morganton, North Carolina; and NEG1, a 1 MW system, in Knoxville, Tennessee and NEG2, a 1 MW system, in Jackson, Tennessee representing the first installation of megawatt systems in the Tennessee Valley Authority territory.

In addition, EETN has another 4.6 MW of VA solar projects under contract or under construction in Montgomery and Tuscaloosa, Alabama; St. Albans, New York; and Pago Pago, American Samoa.

“Our company is in a rapid period of growth and expansion,” Thomas said. “Since 2009 we’ve grown to employ 20 and overall we’ve installed 14.5MWs. We employ some of the area’s leading energy efficiency specialists, designers, and technicians. With our experienced team and vision for the future, we can successfully continue to have a positive impact upon the nation’s energy consumption needs, reducing costs and improving efficiency.”

About Efficient Energy of Tennessee
Efficient Energy of Tennessee (EETN) is a Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business. EETN is a full-service solar EPC contractor that provides national coverage for solar PV development, design, procurement, and installation. As Solar PV Industry experts, EETN reaches to fulfill clients’ highest expectations and standards through workmanship and known industry products.




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