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Innovation Sparks New Development in the Technology Corridor

August 17, 2011 | More News

SMART charging station

The Tennessee Technology Corridor Development Authority and MPC have approved an innovative development project in the Technology Corridor in west Knox County. Smart Modal Area Recharge Terminal, or SMART station, is an electric vehicle charging station that can also make electricity from sunlight, store it, and put it back on the power grid when needed. The project is an initiative of the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Electric Power Research Institute.

Construction of the SMART station demonstration project began in 2010 and was completed this past January. It is among the first public electric vehicle charging stations of its kind and is located at EPRI's Knoxville Research Laboratory in Corridor Park near Lovell Road.

The SMART station will be used to study several aspects of electric vehicle charging, including stationary batteries, impacts on the electricity system, and consumer behavior. TVA and EPRI will also evaluate the role of electric vehicles in the reduction of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. Additional partners in the research effort include Oak Ridge National Laboratory and local power companies.

Features of the SMART charging station include:

A second SMART station prototype is being constructed by ORNL in Oak Ridge. Initially, access to the two stations will be limited to researchers while testing takes place. When testing is completed a few months from now, additional stations will be considered for Knoxville, Chattanooga, Nashville, and possibly other sites.

Locating the SMART station in the Tennessee Technology Corridor is a great fit for both the company and for Knox County. The Technology Corridor was established in 1983, creating a 7,000-acre technology overlay zone stretching through west Knox County along the Pellissippi Parkway, north of I-40/75. The overlay encourages technology and related land uses while preserving the area's forested ridges, rolling hills, and broad valleys. Zoning in the Corridor is fairly flexible and allows most types of office and light industry, with limits on retail development. The SMART station is one example among many of the technology-based enterprises that have located in the Corridor over the past 25 years.

Posted 08-17-2011, written by Terry Gilhula