Electric Vehicles, Solar Arrays Drive Sustainability at Oak Ridge

UCOR President and CEO Ken Rueter, left, and Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM) Manager Jay Mullis hold a key card to the first electric vehicle that arrived in Oak Ridge. UCOR is set to receive 10 more electric vehicles as it begins transitioning its fleet.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – The first fully electric vehicle quietly pulled into a parking space in Oak Ridge last week.

The new addition to the site is part of a broader transition to an electric vehicle fleet across the EM complex. The cleanup program aims to add 150 electric vehicles to its fleet this year.

Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM) cleanup contractor UCOR is slated to receive 11 of the vehicles in the first phase of the effort.

An important component of OREM’s integrated sustainability program, electric vehicles will be delivered as they become available through the U.S. General Services Administration and steadily replace the existing inventory.

“We are committed to transitioning all of our vehicle fleet to electric vehicles as they are available,” said UCOR President and CEO Ken Rueter. “Our goal is to be a business leader in the electric vehicle initiative and achieve sustainability goals of fleet electrification to reduce emissions.”

Transitioning the Oak Ridge fleet to electric vehicles is estimated to avoid up to 320 metric tons in annual carbon emissions and $50,000 in fuel costs each year. Oak Ridge cleanup contractor UCOR and subcontractor RSI are also leading a 1-megawatt solar facility development project capable of generating enough electricity to power 133 average-size homes annually and offset greenhouse gas emissions equal to more than 200 passenger vehicles per year.
Transitioning the Oak Ridge fleet to electric vehicles is estimated to avoid up to 320 metric tons in annual carbon emissions and $50,000 in fuel costs each year. Oak Ridge cleanup contractor UCOR and subcontractor RSI are also leading a 1-megawatt solar facility development project capable of generating enough electricity to power 133 average-size homes annually and offset greenhouse gas emissions equal to more than 200 passenger vehicles per year.

Transitioning the Oak Ridge fleet is estimated to avoid up to 320 metric tons in annual carbon emissions and $50,000 in fuel costs each year based on the national average cost of gas and electricity.

UCOR is also the first DOE contractor in Oak Ridge to participate in the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Electric Vehicle Fleet Advisory Program, which supports the shift to electric vehicles and associated charging infrastructure.

“Partnerships are critical to achieving the federal government’s goal of 100% zero-emissions vehicles by 2035, including 100% zero-emissions light-duty acquisitions by 2027,” said UCOR Program and Sustainability Management Manager Ashley Saunders.

The latest initiative is part of a long-running focus on sustainability for the Oak Ridge Reservation.

“Electric vehicles are an important step for us,” OREM Manager Jay Mullis said. “We’re also continuing to work with our staff and contractors to identify other opportunities to maximize sustainability efforts locally.”

As a part of the Brownfields to Brightfields initiative, UCOR teamed with RSI and Vis Solis to deploy multiple solar arrays at Oak Ridge’s East Tennessee Technology Park. The collection of solar panels is providing 1.2 megawatts of renewable power to the grid.
As a part of the Brownfields to Brightfields initiative, UCOR teamed with RSI and Vis Solis to deploy multiple solar arrays at Oak Ridge’s East Tennessee Technology Park. The collection of solar panels is providing 1.2 megawatts of renewable power to the grid.

As a part of a brownfields-to-brightfields initiative, UCOR worked with subcontractor RSI to deploy three solar arrays at Oak Ridge’s East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP), providing 1.2 megawatts of renewable power to the grid.

UCOR and RSI also led the Powerhouse Six project, a utility-scale, 1-megawatt solar facility development capable of generating enough electricity to power 133 average-size homes annually and offset greenhouse gas emissions equal to more than 200 passenger vehicles per year. This successful project played a key role in ETTP’s selection as a Federal Green Challenge award winner.

“Our team’s commitment to making renewable energy a reality can be seen through the success we’ve achieved with solar generating facilities at ETTP,” says Saunders. “It’s exciting to see RSI turn land that has limited future use into productive sites for renewable energy.”

Supporting sustainability through technology, UCOR has also installed devices in all fleet vehicles to track fuel consumption, diagnostics and idling time data to help lower the fleet’s environmental impact and support safe vehicle operations.

The opportunities for improvement aren’t stopping with fleet vehicles. OREM, in partnership with UCOR, is pursuing a transition to low-speed electric vehicles and zero-emissions heavy equipment for its environmental remediation mission, as those vehicles become commercially available.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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