Silicon Ranch, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Meta, Jackson Energy Authority have broken ground on a new 70MW McKellar Solar Farm in Madison County, Tennessee, US.

The solar facility will help support Meta’s regional operations with 100% clean energy.

Announced in August 2020, the McKellar facility is part of TVA’s Green Invest programme, which helps customers achieve their long-term sustainability goals with new solar projects within the valley.

TVA senior vice president for commercial energy solutions Doug Perry said: “TVA is the nexus for reliable, economical renewable energy solutions, and we have already committed $3 billion to bring more than 2,000 MW of new solar to the Valley since 2018.

“This public-private partnership with Meta and Silicon Ranch demonstrates the strength of TVA’s community energy model to attract capital investment and high-quality jobs into the communities we serve while helping businesses meet their sustainability goals.”

Construction of the farm is expected to be finished before the end of this year, with interconnection to the TVA grid being facilitated by the JEA distribution system.

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By GlobalData

Silicon Ranch, which is based in Nashville, will fund, own, operate, and maintain the solar facility. It expects to invest more than $90m to build the facility.

SR EPC, a fully owned Silicon Ranch subsidiary, is serving as the prime contractor for the project.

SR EPC has appointed PCL Construction as the subcontractor for the PV facility plant.

Construction of the solar plant is expected to create over 350 construction jobs.

Silicon Ranch co-founder and CEO Reagan Farr said: “At Silicon Ranch we believe that solar projects can create enduring value and deliver a meaningful legacy for communities, and we thank TVA, Meta, JEA, and the Jackson Chamber for making this significant investment in Madison County possible.

“Silicon Ranch has been proud to partner with Meta to supply renewable energy to its data center operations in Georgia, and we’re honoured to support Meta’s operations right here in the Tennessee Valley. McKellar Solar Farm is yet another innovative, customer-driven renewable energy solution made possible through TVA’s meaningful leadership in our home region.”

Meta renewable energy head Urvi Parekh said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with TVA and Silicon Ranch to bring this new solar facility to the grid in support of our operations in the Tennessee Valley.

“The more than 850 megawatts of new solar energy we are developing with TVA is an important part of our goal to support our global operations with 100% renewable energy.”

Almost 60% of TVA’s electricity is carbon-free generation in 2022.

TVA intends to add 10,000MW of solar power by 2035.


Image: Construction of the solar plant is expected to create over 350 jobs. Credit: TheOtherKev from Pixabay.