Silicon Ranch, TVA, EMEPA join state, local, and Navy officials to dedicate solar project at NAS Meridian
MERIDIAN, Miss., September 10, 2019 – The Department of the Navy (DON), Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), East Mississippi Electric Power Association (EMEPA), and Silicon Ranch Corporation (Silicon Ranch) “flipped the switch” on a solar facility at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Meridian today. The celebration formally inaugurated the 6-megawatt solar farm that will provide energy resilience and energy security to the naval base. The project is the result of an innovative public-private partnership that brought together the DON, TVA, EMEPA, and Silicon Ranch with a shared vision to support the naval base and the local community.
Nashville-based Silicon Ranch, the U.S. solar platform for Shell and one of the largest independent solar power producers in the United States, installed more than 15,000 solar photovoltaic panels on approximately 38 acres of land leased from the DON. The company will own, operate, and maintain the facility for the next 20 years. As part of the lease agreement, NAS Meridian received in-kind consideration in the form of increased energy resilience made possible through Silicon Ranch investments to strengthen the local electrical grid.
The solar power plant will provide clean, renewable power to the electric grid and will be available to TVA and EMEPA customers, including NAS Meridian, at cost-competitive rates for the life of the project.
Notable ceremony presenters included Capt. Brian Horstman, Commanding Officer, NAS Meridian; Doug Perry, Vice President Commercial Energy Solutions, TVA; Wayne Henson, Retired Chief Executive Officer, EMEPA; John Kliem, Executive Director, Naval Facilities Engineering Command’s (NAVFAC) Energy Security Programs Office ; Brandon Presley, Chairman, Mississippi Public Service Commission; and Matt Kisber, Co-Founder and Board Chairman, Silicon Ranch.
“Partnerships like this one between the Department of the Navy, TVA, EMEPA and Silicon Ranch strengthen NAS Meridian and enhance our ability to perform the critical function of supporting warfighter capabilities and readiness,” said Capt. Horstman.
“This flagship project demonstrates how diverse fuel sources ensure an installation’s energy security and provide NAS Meridian with the power it needs to carry out its important mission,” said Kliem. The air station not only serves as an important aviation training facility for the Navy and Marine Corps, but also serves as a strategic FEMA staging ground for the federal government to respond to domestic hurricane recovery efforts.”
“TVA is committed to being a trusted energy partner as part of our mission of service to the Valley,” said Perry. “The solar installation at NAS Meridian reflects TVA’s ongoing commitment to provide clean, local, renewable energy generation as a fully integrated part of the larger power system to best serve the power needs of the nearly 10 million residents of the Tennessee Valley.”
“EMEPA has been a partner of NAS Meridian for more than 60 years,” said Henson. “We are pleased to participate in this broader partnership that supports both the DON goals and the growth of our community.”
“This innovative energy project is the result of a collaborative effort, and Silicon Ranch thanks our partners at the U.S. Navy, TVA, EMEPA, and the MS Public Service Commission for making it possible,” said Kisber. “Each of our partners deserves tremendous credit for their vision and commitment to bring cost-effective, renewable power to NAS Meridian and Lauderdale County.”
“Cost-effective solar power projects like this one we’re dedicating today are a win-win-win, providing benefits for the people of Mississippi and enhancing the national security of the United States while making military bases in our state more secure,” said Commissioner Presley.
The DON continues to improve readiness, combat effectiveness and flexibility through initiatives that focus on energy reliability, resiliency and efficiency.
About Silicon Ranch Corporation
Silicon Ranch is the U.S. solar platform for Shell and one of the largest independent solar power producers in the country. Silicon Ranch develops to own all of its projects for the long-term, a distinction that means the company is deeply committed to its partners and communities and stands behind the performance of its facilities day in and day out. The company’s operating portfolio includes more than 120 facilities across 14 states from New York to California, including the first large-scale solar projects in Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, and Arkansas. To learn more, visit siliconranch.com and follow the company on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
About Tennessee Valley Authority
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power companies serving nearly 10 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its 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.
About East Mississippi Electric Power Association
East Mississippi Electric Power Association, headquartered in Meridian, Miss., is an electric distribution cooperative serving more than 37,000 families and businesses in Winston, Kemper, Lauderdale, Clarke, Attala, Neshoba, Newton, Noxubee, Jasper and Wayne counties. As a not-for-profit electric cooperative owned by the people served, EMEPA’s core values center on delivering the energy to empower lives.
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