Solar plant at Heritage Center honored with sustainability award

May 31, 2016

A solar power plant in west Oak Ridge is one of two projects recognized with 2016 Energy Sustainability Awards by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Teams at the two DOE Environmental Management, or EM, sites were recognized for spearheading projects that have saved taxpayer dollars while promoting efficiency and smart use of DOE resources, a press release said.

“The DOE Sustainability Performance Office highlighted efforts at the Oak Ridge and Savannah River sites as outstanding contributions to the department’s goal of improving environmental, energy, and economic performance while reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” the press release said.

UCOR, the prime contractor for Oak Ridge’s EM program, helped the small business subcontractor Restoration Services Inc. team with community partners to build a one-megawatt utility scale photovoltaic power generating project called Powerhouse Six that became operational in April 2015.

It’s the third, and largest, solar array at the East Tennessee Technology Park, or ETTP, where the last of five gaseous diffusion buildings is being demolished. Under EM’s reindustrialization program, property at ETTP is being transferred to the private sector to make the site an industrial park.

The solar plant generates enough clean energy to power more than 100 homes while preventing pollution that is the equivalent to removing 240 cars from the road annually.

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-Keith Gordon