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Appalachian Teaching Project

Center of Appalachian Studies & Services

University of Tennessee


Mountain Solar: Promoting Solar Energy and Addressing the Non-Technical Barriers Facing Solar Installations in Cocke County, Tennessee

The University of Tennessee 2012 ATP project addressed the issues confronting rural solar adoption. Working with a case study community, Cocke County, Tennessee, UT students explored the potential for rural solar energy production, identified existing non-technical barriers, and proposed programmatic and policy solutions to help address these issues. Our community partner for this project was Cocke County, Tennessee, an ARC designated distressed county that serves as a gateway to both the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Cherokee National Forest. Our primary contact within the county was the county mayor's office, but we also engaged a broad range of local stakeholders.

Students conducted baseline research on rural solar polices and best practices. They also conducted preliminary research on Cocke County to develop a county profile and determine existing solar activities. Students reviewed ARC's strategic plans and recent ARC energy-related research. Students engaged local stakeholders through direct interviews and a stakeholder focus group. The focus group, facilitated by students, helped identify current barriers, possible opportunities, and topics for additional research. After conducting their research, students conducted a second focus group to share their project findings, discuss recommendations, and receive local feedback. 


2012 Presentation

2012 Final Report 


Contact Information:

Tim Ezzell, Ph.D.
Director Community Partnership Center
University of Tennessee
UT Conference Center, Suite 311
Knoxville, TN 37996-0645
Telephone: 865-974-9036


Previous Conference Participation2011    2010     2009

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