Nashville-based renewable energy provider Silicon Ranch Corp. and Green Power EMC, the renewable energy supplier for 38 Georgia Electric Membership Corporations (EMCs), are set to begin construction on Silicon Ranch’s 20 MW AC project in southeast Georgia.
Silicon Ranch has selected California-based Phoenix Solar to construct the ground-mounted solar project near Hazlehurst, Ga. Once completed, it will be one of the largest solar generating facilities in Georgia, occupying approximately 135 acres and incorporating over 89,000 solar modules.
Furthermore, the facility will generate more than 43 million kW hours of clean, renewable electricity annually. That amount of clean energy offsets nearly 30,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions from burning nearly 32 million pounds of coal or, put another way, the emissions from more than 6,000 passenger cars.
Phoenix Solar plans to secure local subcontractors and craftsmen to provide some of the on-site work for the 6-month construction project. The solar field’s construction is expected to support between 100-200 direct and indirect jobs, with a direct financial impact estimated to exceed $25 million.
Jeff Pratt, president of Green Power EMC, said the project serves as a clear signal of the company’s commitment to add more solar energy to its portfolio. Under the agreement with Silicon Ranch, who will own and operate the facility, Green Power EMC will receive all the energy it produces over a 25-year period. Pratt said the 20 MW project at Hazlehurst, once completed, will produce enough electricity to serve some 3,000 EMC households and will nearly double the total renewable capacity of Green Power EMC – from the current 32 MW to about 52 MW.
“We are of course excited about the environmental benefits of this project, but we are equally proud of our ability to offer the benefits of solar energy to Georgia’s member customers through their participating electric cooperatives,” Pratt said. “Additionally, this project will bring economic benefits to the region, moving us even further down the road to providing sustainable opportunities for our member customers and the State of Georgia.”
Silicon Ranch Corporation is a top 15 solar owner-operator in the U.S. and provides customized solar solutions based on the needs of its customers. Silicon Ranch has been instrumental in enabling many of its customers to accomplish numerous firsts in their marketplaces. Silicon Ranch also owns and operates Georgia’s largest solar farm in Social Circle, Ga.
— Solar Builder magazine