The project has been celebrated as a triumph of collective partnership toward a common goal. Indeed financial and economic barriers must be overcome to bring a project of such scale to fruition, but challenging the status quo and creative problem-solving are equally critical for success. The project has won multiple state and national awards, but the greatest triumph for the project is its strategic role in Aerojet Rocketdyne’s decision to invest in the expansion of its local operations and to add nearly 100 high-skilled jobs.
Largest utility-scale solar operation in Arkansas
The facility, completed in December 2015, is the largest utility-scale solar project in the state of Arkansas. In partnership with Ouachita Electric Cooperative Corporation (OECC) and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC), Silicon Ranch developed a novel solution that allowed Aerojet Rocketdyne to take as much energy as it requires during solar production hours, with AECC purchasing any excess energy that the array produces. This structure, which was the first of its kind in the state, enables Aerojet Rocketdyne to meet its internal sustainability goals, while aiding the AECC in achieving the carbon reduction goals proscribed by the EPA.
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“Adding Silicon Ranch Corporation to our partnership was the critical step to facilitate our goals of bringing new technology to South Arkansas while creating jobs, attracting new business, and providing clean, affordable energy to our members.
The group at Silicon Ranch deserve enormous credit for their constant commitment to all stakeholder needs and for bringing experienced leadership and technical know-how to execute the largest solar field in Arkansas. They behave as a real partner should; they listen and truly believe they’re only successful when their customers are too. Silicon Ranch is a great partner to work with and a tremendous asset to have on your team.”
-Mark Cayce, CEO and General Manager, Ouachita Electric Cooperative Corporation
Regenerative Energy™ at Aerojet Rocketdyne
Silicon Ranch is committed to better solar farms and a healthier planet. Through our Regenerative Energy™ program, we help communities generate clean solar electricity and healthy soil and food. Regenerative Energy™ keeps solar farm land in agricultural production. To deliver Regenerative Energy™, Silicon Ranch partners with regenerative ranchers and local farmers to use holistic agriculture practices on solar farms. These practices remove carbon from the atmosphere, enrich the soil, improve air and water quality, and increase biodiversity. Regenerative Energy™ leads to restored natural resources and overall stronger ecosystems while creating additional high value long-term jobs.
The Aerojet Rocketdyne Solar Farm initiated select Regenerative Energy™ practices in 2019 and has already seen positive land regeneration outcomes: more plants per square foot covering more soil and increased plant diversity.