MC receives TVA Green Power Switch Award

MC receives TVA Green Power Switch Award

May 1, 2013
Contact: Chloe Kennedy, News and New Media Writer

The Tennessee Valley Authority recently honored Maryville College for exceptional leadership and participation in TVA’s Green Power Switch renewable energy program during 2012.

Maryville College received the “Innovator of the Year – Renewable Generation” award during the TVA Green Power Switch 2012 Leadership Awards ceremony, which was held on April 23 at the Park Vista Hotel in Gatlinburg, Tenn.

The award is given to customers based on the volume of Green Power Switch blocks purchased combined with energy efficiency projects, among other categories.

“The Innovator of the Year Award is the result of a lot of work from many individuals,” said Maryville College President Dr. William T. “Tom” Bogart. “Much appreciation goes to the faculty, staff and students of the College who have supported environmental sustainability initiatives over the years, and much appreciation goes to our friends with Maryville City and TVA, who are forward-thinking about energy consumption in the Tennessee Valley. We look forward to continuing the partnership and collaborating on new initiatives that are mutually beneficial.”

Under the leadership of Dr. Mark O’Gorman, associate professor of political science and coordinator of the College's environmental studies program, and Adrienne Schwarte, associate professor of art/design, the College installed solar panels to generate electricity for Crawford House, one of the oldest buildings on campus. The building, which recently received a LEED® Gold designation from the U.S. Green Building Council, has purchased renewable energy through TVA’s Green Power Switch Program since 2003. Additionally, the College installed electric vehicle charging stations, picnic tables with built-in solar generation for charging students’ electronic devices and a solar water heating system for use on the Crawford House property.

“We applaud Maryville College on receiving such notable recognition due to their dedication to sustainability,” said Maryville Mayor Tom Taylor ‘70. “We are excited to see them receive an award of this stature. They have continued to be committed to implementing environmental initiatives, and it has been our pleasure to work with them through the years on a number of projects including our Pistol Creek Wetlands Center.”

TVA, local distributors of TVA power and members of the environmental community, launched Green Power Switch in 2000 as the first-of-its-kind program in the Southeast. It allows consumers to help ensure that renewable energy from wind, solar and landfill gas is added to TVA’s power supply. Maryville College and other Green Power Switch purchasers in 2012 helped support over 4,500 megawatt hours of solar power; 37,000 megawatt hours of wind power; and 36,000 megawatt hours of biogas. By supporting this renewable energy, Green Power Switch customers prevented around 74,400 tons of CO â�� emissions, the equivalent of taking more than 11,000 cars off the road for a year.

The City of Maryville serves more than 20,000 customers and has been in the utility business for more than 60 years. Both residential and commercial customers may purchase Green Power Switch blocks of 150 kilowatts (about 12 percent of a typical Tennessee Valley home’s monthly electricity use). Each block costs an additional $4 on the consumer’s monthly power bill. Additional information on TVA’s Green Power Switch program is available online at

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2016 semester is 1,197.