JONESBOROUGH, TN — BrightRidge, Silicon Ranch, and the Tennessee Valley Authority flipped the switch Thursday on the new Martin Solar Farm in western Washington County, inaugurating clean energy generation from the second solar farm constructed in the BrightRidge service area.
The 9-megawatt (MWAC) facility is named in honor of the late Ralph Martin, an area farmer who served many years on the board of directors of BrightRidge. About 100 acres of property for the solar farm were purchased from the Martin estate.
“BrightRidge, Silicon Ranch and TVA continue to lead the region in solar generation and innovation, while proving projects like this can be done in harmony with the community,” BrightRidge CEO Jeff Dykes said. “These strong partnerships provide clean energy at scale to our customers without the upkeep, cost and stress of managing privately-owned solar panels. At the same time, along with world-beating broadband service, we know access to clean energy is an increasingly critical component of economic growth in our region.”
Early planning is underway for a potential third solar farm in the Piney Flats area, which would join the 5 MWAC Telford Solar Farm and the Martin Solar Farm as BrightRidge continues to expand its partnership with Silicon Ranch.
“With another successful community solar project online, Silicon Ranch is once again honored to strengthen our relationship with our partners here in the Tennessee Valley,” said Matt Kisber, Co-Founder and Chairman of Silicon Ranch. “On behalf of our entire team, I applaud the staff and leadership at BrightRidge for their commitment to deliver value to the customers and communities they serve, and I thank the TVA for empowering local power companies to leverage cost-effective, renewable energy to meet customer needs and recruit new business.”
While the Telford Solar Farm was constructed under an earlier TVA program, the Martin Solar Farm is the first completed under TVA’s Generation Flexibility Program designed to encourage local power companies (LPCs) to develop distributed generation facilities to provide local solutions to the renewable needs of customers, while also improving the carbon position of the region. Through Generation Flexibility, TVA enables local power companies to generate up to 5% of their total energy load to meet the renewable energy goals of their customers, attract sustainability-focused businesses to their communities, and/or solve individual challenges for their customers or distribution systems. TVA indicated the Martin Solar Farm checks all the boxes TVA had in mind when crafting the Generation Flexibility program — diversifying TVA’s generation portfolio through local partnerships, while maintaining low rates and top-notch reliability.
“The Martin Solar Farm is a powerful testament to the benefits of public power and a commitment to a reduced carbon footprint that attracts jobs and investments to our region,” said Don Moul, TVA Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer. “This partnership with BrightRidge and Silicon Ranch is the first of many Generation Flexibility projects with local power companies that will make the Tennessee Valley an even better place to live and do business.”
In all, the Martin project installed 25,000 single-axis tracking panels using advanced bi-facial technology to follow the sun across its daily arc. The project will produce enough carbon-free electricity to power more than 1,000 homes as conditions permit.
Under the terms of the 30-year agreement with Silicon Ranch, BrightRidge will purchase all production from the solar farm, while Silicon Ranch owns and operates the facility.
“This project makes a great deal of sense for our customers,” Dykes said. “We are expanding the availability of local clean energy production while continuing to deliver best-in-class service at the lowest possible cost.”
BrightRidge is the 10th largest public power provider in the Tennessee Valley Authority system and serves more than 80,000 customers in Washington, Sullivan, Carter and Greene counties. BrightRidge Broadband offers nation-leading 10 GB symmetrical internet to more than 6,000 fiber-to-the-premise customers. For more, please visit www.BrightRidge.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
About Silicon Ranch Corporation
Founded in 2011, Silicon Ranch is a fully integrated provider of customized renewable energy, carbon, and battery storage solutions for a diverse set of partners across North America. The company is one of the largest independent power producers in the country, with a portfolio that includes more than 4 gigawatts of solar and battery storage systems that are contracted, under construction, or operating across the U.S. and Canada. Silicon Ranch owns and operates every project in its portfolio and has maintained an unblemished track record of project execution, having successfully commissioned every project it has contracted in its history. In recognition of its holistic approach to land management, which the company has trademarked Regenerative Energy®, Silicon Ranch was named 2020’s “Most Forward-Thinking” company by Solar Power World. Silicon Ranch pioneered utility-scale solar in the Tennessee Valley and remains a market leader, with more than 35 operating facilities across the region. To learn more, visit siliconranch.com and regenerativeenergy.org and follow on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving nearly 10 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system, and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.
Tim Whaley, Director Public; Government Affairs
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