WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Monday, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm traveled to Oak Ridge and Chattanooga, Tennessee to underscore the historic investments of the recently passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
In Oak Ridge, the Secretary was joined by Representative Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03) and Mayor Warren Gooch for a tour of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to learn about new innovations in wireless charging and seawater batteries.
In Chattanooga, the Secretary participated in an electric vehicle transition speaking program with Representative Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03) and Mayor Tim Kelly.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will invest more than $7.5 billion in the supply chain for batteries which will help deliver clean, affordable, and resilient energy and transportation options to Americans across the country.
In the News
U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm touted the benefits in the works as she toured Oak Ridge National Lab's Grid Research Integration and Deployment Center on Monday. Employees at the high-tech facility are, among other advances, laying the groundwork make it convenient for Tennesseans to buy electric vehicles.
The sweeping infrastructure law tackles public transportation, roads, bridges, ports, railways, power grids and broadband internet, as well as water and sewage systems.
"Solutions that are being worked on here at the lab are the solutions that we need to deploy," Granholm said.
"The nice thing about you all being adjacent to the lab is that the lab is thinking into the future, even as it is helping industry in the present," Granholm said to employees.
Chattanooga is paving the way for a new electric vehicle supply chain in America as battery materials maker Novonix opens a factory in the city, the nation's energy secretary said here Monday.
Secretary Jennifer Granholm said at the inauguration of the $160 million Novonix plant on Riverfront Parkway that the factory is helping create "a whole ecosystem" related to the production of EVs and the batteries that power them.
"This is exactly what every state and community should be doing," she told a couple hundred people who turned out at the former Alstom manufacturing site now rebranded as The Bend.
Granholm said President Joe Biden is "bringing back the supply chain" from overseas for battery-powered vehicles, along with good-paying jobs.
"Chattanooga's experience as "Gig City" may mean that Tennessee becomes "Gig state" because there will be funding for high-speed internet service in every single pocket of the state," Granholm told reporters here during a visit to the Grid Research and Integration and Deployment Center. "So every home will have access to high-speed internet."
Granholm said the infrastructure package will also provide additional funding for more research at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the largest of the 10 Department of Energy labs where scientists and engineers are studying Chattanooga-based EPB's fiber-based grid network to create more microgrids and energy deployment systems to improve electricity reliability and cost.
"In order to do that, part of the legislation that was passed last week was a big step forward but there is another piece coming," Granholm said. "The solutions that are being worked on here at the lab are the solutions that we need to deploy. We want to make sure that our research infrastructure keeps us at the front of global research and development."
“In the Build Back Better agenda that goes back to the Senate now, but I hope nonetheless there is that incentive so that when you buy an electric vehicle, the initial price tag at the dealer is brought down to be comparable to a gas-powered vehicle. That way people are incentivized to purchase an electric vehicle so that they don’t have to ever fill up their gas tanks or worry about the volatility of gas prices of gasoline,” said Granholm.
Aside from speaking about gas prices, Granholm announced ORNL GRID-C is on its way to becoming one of the top labs in the world, with the lab’s development of an Exascale Computer.
“We saw the final stages of the installation of the Frontier Exascale Computer. That will put this lab as the number one lab in the world for Exascale computing. That is huge for our infrastructure as a nation,” said Granholm.
On Social Media
ORNL Director Thomas Zacharia: I was honored to host @SecGranholm at @ORNL for an in-person tour of a few of the lab’s state-of-the-art research facilities.
Times Free Press: "This is exactly what every state and community should be doing." Chattanooga is paving the way for a new electric vehicle supply chain in America as battery materials maker Novonix opens a factory in the city, the nation's energy secretary said Monday.
East TN Economic Council: Thanks to @SecGranholm and @RepChuck for visiting with us this morning. @y12nsc @OakRidgeOffice