This large-scale solar project is named Mavericks Solar Farm after the local high school’s mascot. It is expected to generate 16,209,000 kW hours annually and produce enough low-cost, renewable power to help serve more than 1,200 United Power members, with zero carbon emissions and zero water consumption needs.
Silicon Ranch developed and funded the project and hired McCarthy Building Companies to construct the 6.5 MWac solar plant. Approximately 60 workers, the vast majority of whom were hired locally, were recruited for the nearly 5-month construction effort. The project includes a ground-mount, single-axis tracking, thin-film system that allow more than 75,000 solar panels to track the sun from east to west.
The project site is just a few miles from Mead High School, home to the Mead Energy Academy, an innovative program that exposes students to the principles of energy generated from both conventional and renewable sources. United Power, McCarthy, and Silicon Ranch are partnering with the Mead Energy Academy to create educational opportunities for students to learn more about the role solar energy plays in a diversified energy mix.
Silicon Ranch will own and operate the facility, which achieved commercial operation in December 2016.
“United Power is excited to expand our partnership with Silicon Ranch to add more clean, renewable energy to our power mix. As a cooperative, United Power must constantly balance the interests of our members, employees, and communities in order to provide the most economical and reliable power while limiting our impact on the environment.
At United Power we are equally committed to our role in the community, and we’re pleased that this project will help educate local students about how we can use the earth’s resources wisely and support the advancement of emerging technologies in a thoughtful, responsible manner. ”
-Troy Whitmore, Public Affairs Officer, United Power