Knoxville to Spend Stimulus Money on Solar Panels for Convention Center

City officials in Knoxville, Tenn., want to spend $250,000 in federal stimulus money to install solar panels on the roof of the Knoxville Convention Center, the city announced this month.

The funds—part of a $2 million Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant given to Knoxville last fall by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—would pay for approximately 25 percent of the $1 million project.

Pending environmental clearances and DOE approvals, as well as City Council authorization, the panels could be installed and generating electricity as soon as 2012, according to Knoxville Sustainability Program Manager Susanna Bass.

"The city is interested in being energy efficient and environmentally responsible because it makes sense both from financial and quality of life standpoints," Bass said in a statement. "We want to stretch and leverage existing grant funds while continuing to seek new funding opportunities."