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thumb_TREEDCforumThe Upper Cumberland will soon be greener than usual, thanks to a renewable energy plan that will be the subject of a July 29 community outreach forum.

The Cumberland Plateau Tennessee Renewable Energy and Economic Development Council plan was created to provide the region with a renewable energy educational agenda for job seekers and energy stakeholders to develop clean energy-related assets more easily.

Tennessee Tech University, the city of Cookeville, and the University of Tennessee Municipal Technical Advisory Service have joined forces with the Tennessee Renewable Energy and Economic Development Council to organize the forum.

There will be several presentations to discuss green technologies, including one about the community coming together to produce biodiesel and Kim Greene, president for external relations at the Tennessee Valley Authority will update attendees about the Integrated Resources Plan.

Bill Lee, CEO of Frontline BioEnergy, will discuss biomass gasification and other alternative fuel options for the region.

Terry Strange of Hemlock Semiconductor will talk about a training partnership with Austin Peay State University to make solar polysilicon, a key component of solar panels.

Cookeville Economic Development Director and USDA Rural Development Energy Coordinator Will Dodson will discuss energy efficiency for cities and E85 blender pump program opportunities for area farmers.

TTU President Bob Bell will offer opening remarks to participants.

TREEDC is an environmental economic development organization where environmentalists, energy providers, local governments, colleges and universities and entrepreneurs work together to accelerate market development of renewable energy and technology in the state.  UT President Emeritus Joe Johnson serves as chairman of the organization.

The organization was formed in 2008 and has expanded its reach to include the governments of Memphis, Jackson, Franklin, Columbia, Cookeville, Chattanooga and dozens of other rural cities and counties.

The free July 29 workshop will be in the TTU Millard Oakley STEM Center and will include a continental breakfast and box lunch.  To reserve a spot, email by July 25. Seating is limited.