CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is adding solar to its environmentally friendly repertoire. BlueCross is partnering with Sustainable Future of Knoxville to install a 198.24kW solar photovoltaic system on the roof of the Gateway Building in downtown Chattanooga. The system will be the largest installation in the area.

“We were already committed to a green vision, which made the choice to add solar easy,” said Dan Jacobson, vice president of properties and corporate services for BlueCross. “It is a good business decision and a real positive for the community. With our focus on efficient operations and environmental sustainability, it is the right direction for us.”

The 198.24kW system is projected to produce an average of 241,217 kWh’s a year, saving $53,068 on the Gateway building’s energy costs and contributing to BlueCross’ emphasis on sustainable design for all its buildings.

Sustainable Future in Knoxville, Tenn. will design and install the system for BlueCross. The NABCEP-certified solar company has been in business since 2005 and provided grant writing assistance for funds obtained from the Tennessee Solar Institute.

"We are very excited about working with a progressive company like BlueCross,” said David Bolt, founder of Sustainable Future. “Our core focus is sustainability and energy efficiency, so seeing solar photovoltaic’s grow from fringe to mainstream in Tennessee is a major accomplishment.”

Funds totaling $243,240 were obtained from the Tennessee Solar Institute for the new installation, which will help BlueCross to attain LEED certification on its Gateway building. BlueCross’ corporate headquarters remains the largest Gold LEED-certified corporate campus in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Solar Institute is part of the Volunteer State Solar Initiative, a comprehensive solar energy and economic development program that was established using $62.5 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funding received by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy under Award Number DE-EE0000160. Funding Source: CDFA 81.041.

Several Tennessee companies will see benefits from this decision by BlueCross. The installation will use 826 Sharp 240 panels that are manufactured in Memphis. Lawson Electric of Chattanooga will be involved in the AC electrical side of the installation, and EPB in Chattanooga will install the green meter and administer the TVA Generation Partners Program.

About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee’s mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.bcbst.com.

About Sustainable Future

Sustainable Future delivers turnkey rooftop solar installations, solar ground solutions, and solar parking lot installations that significantly reduce the energy costs of large and small businesses and residential homes. Sustainable Future is a full service solar installer that takes care of every aspect of your project including design, installation, monitoring, service and warranty. We also provide grant-writing services to help your company secure incentives. For more information, visit the company’s web site at http://www.sustainablefuture.biz.

About Tennessee Solar Institute

The Tennessee Solar Institute (TSI) is a center of excellence between the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory that brings together scientists, engineers and technical experts with business leaders and policymakers to help speed the deployment of solar technology. Its mission is to advance the understanding of solar innovation and to inspire new ideas that speed the development and implementation of solar-based technology in Tennessee. TSI is housed at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. For more information, visit http://solar.tennessee.edu.