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McCarthy Building Companies has begun construction on the 53-MW Millington Solar Farm project in Millington, Tennessee, which represents a public-private partnership between Nashville-based renewable energy provider Silicon Ranch Corporation, the U.S. Navy, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW) and the Millington Industrial Development Board (MIDB).

The 402-acre utility-scale solar energy plant will host 580,000 solar panels and represents the largest solar energy project in Tennessee. Construction is scheduled to complete at the end of 2018, at which time the facility is expected to generate enough power for 7,500 homes.

Silicon Ranch Corporation, one of the nation’s largest independent solar power producers, selected McCarthy’s Renewable Energy team as the Engineer-Procure-Construct (EPC) contractor. McCarthy is responsible for the design, procurement, construction, and commissioning of the facility. Developer Silicon Ranch is funding the installation and will own and operate the array for the long-term.

McCarthy is seeking to hire local subcontractors and craftsmen to provide the bulk of on-site work for the construction project in Millington, just as it has done for all other Silicon Ranch facilities it has built. The solar facility’s construction is expected to support more than 300 jobs, and McCarthy will provide local workers seeking utility-scale solar construction experience with on-site training in pile driving, tracker assembly, and panel installation. Area residents interested in working on the project should visit www.McCarthy.com/careers/search, and enter “solar” to find job postings for Millington, TN positions, which include laborer, operator, apprentice electrician and journeyman electrician.

Silicon Ranch Chief Technology Officer Pete Candelaria said, “At Silicon Ranch we take a long-term view of our relationships and responsibilities in the communities we serve, and we are committed to using local service providers and hiring from the local labor pool as much as possible. We are proud to work with McCarthy to execute this vision, and we thank our partners at the U.S. Navy, TVA, MLGW, and the MIDB for making this project possible.”

“TVA cares about Shelby County and this project will bring jobs that will allow us to deliver reliable, low-cost, carbon-free electricity to the 9 million people of the Tennessee Valley,” said Jay Stowe, senior vice president of Distributed Energy Resources for TVA. “Over the next 20 years TVA will invest about $8 billion to support our renewable energy portfolio to help our customers meet their carbon reduction goals.”

As part of the public-private partnership, the U.S. Navy provided a long-term lease of 72 acres of base land at the Naval Support Activity (NSA) Mid-South to accommodate part of the array, while the remainder of the land was purchased from the Millington Industrial Development Board.

“Our Renewable Energy team has been working closely with our Southeast operations and we’ve recently completed or are currently constructing more than 12 solar projects throughout the region, which includes Tennessee, Arkansas, Virginia and Georgia,” said Scott Canada, senior vice president of the Renewable Energy team at McCarthy. “Solar owners like Silicon Ranch understand the value of this infrastructure to local communities, which will provide clean energy for decades to come.”

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