Black Bear Solar Institute

Balancing the Needs of People, Animals, Environment and Economics

Black Bear Solar Institute is a unique non-profit founded in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee to demonstrate Healthy Community through public demonstration projects incorporating renewable energy, alternatively-fueled transportation and wildlife rehabilitation. 


Our Vision — Create affordable, inclusive, resilient communities designed to sustain physical, psychological and fiscal well-being


Our Mission — Research and demonstrate evolving concepts and technologies through a living laboratory of resilient communities that embody a healthy balance of human, animal, environmental and economic needs


Our Values —


Education Through Demonstration


Healthy Communities Effectively Balance the Needs of People, Animals, Environment and Economics


Financial Sustainability — Being Green Only Works When It’s Out of the Red


Resilience — Recognize and Address Changing Needs and Conditions Through Thoughtful Innovation


Major Projects —


Creating eCO-Cove affordable housing for living wage workers in the Smoky Mountain region demonstrating solar microgrid power, energy efficiency and electric transportation


Bringing Renewable Solar Energy to school campuses for their STEM and Environmental curriculum


Establishing a Green Gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, bridging the gap between the Interstate Highways and major metropolitan areas of Tennessee to the National Park and State Parks of Tennessee with Electric Vehicle charging stations, enabling EV drivers to visit the Parks powered by clean, renewable solar-generated electricity


Other projects focused on creating Healthy Communities and showing how the One Health initiative links Human, Environmental, and Animal health into a cohesive whole which benefits us all are underway