Green Power EMC, the renewable energy supplier for 38 Georgia Electric Membership Corporations (EMCs), and Silicon Ranch, one of the nation’s largest independent solar power producers, officially dedicated a 52-Megawatt (MWAC) solar energy plant in Jeff Davis County, Georgia (US).
The 480-acre facility features technology that allows more than 630,000 solar panels to track the sun from east to west and will provide enough low-cost, renewable power to help serve more than 8,500 EMC households annually. Silicon Ranch hired McCarthy Building Companies, one of the largest American-owned construction firms, to construct the facility, which took more than eight months to build and officially reached commercial operation in December 2016.
The project’s construction supported more than 300 jobs, the vast majority of which were filled by local labor and local subcontractors. The 52MWAC facility is the second to be completed by the partnership between Green Power EMC and Silicon Ranch. In December 2015, the pair formally dedicated a 20MWAC solar project, also near Hazlehurst in Jeff Davis County.
At a combined 72MWAC, the two projects make Jeff Davis County one of the top solar communities in the United States. Because of its forward-thinking approach to renewable energy procurement, Green Power EMC was named the 2016 Electric Cooperative Utility of the Year by the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) during a ceremony at the Solar Power International conference in Las Vegas in September.
Under the agreement, Silicon Ranch will own and operate the solar array, and Green Power EMC will purchase all the energy and environmental attributes it produces at cost-competitive rates over the life of the contract. According to Kisber, Silicon Ranch owns and operates every solar project it develops for the long-term.
Green Power EMC and Silicon Ranch held a dedication ceremony at the solar farm, where they were joined by representatives from the Georgia EMCs as well as local, regional, and state officials. Students from the local high school received a special tour of the facility prior to the ceremony.