Silicon Ranch Unveils New Lambing Barn at Houston Solar and Celebrates Growth of Company-Owned Sheep Flock

Solar company’s investments in sheep industry, paired with its commitment to animal welfare and improving sheep genetics, are helping rebuild and strengthen the U.S. flock.

ELKOGa. (April 12, 2024) — Silicon Ranch, one of the nation’s largest independent power producers specializing in solar energy, agrivoltaics, and carbon solutions, officially unveiled its new 26,000 square-foot lambing barn at its 68-megawatt (MWACHouston Solar Project in Houston County, Georgia. The company designed and constructed the barn to support animal welfare for the project’s resident flock and to improve the genetics and increase production of both the Georgia flock and the national flock, with a goal of helping to rebuild and strengthen the sheep industry in the United States. 

The lambing barn is a first-of-its-kind facility to be built, owned, and operated by a solar company. Nashville-based Silicon Ranch is investing to build out its own agribusiness as a wholly owned subsidiary to support the company’s operations and to deliver positive benefits to the land it owns and the communities where its projects are located. In just two years, the company’s flock of sheep has grown from less than 700 to more than 3,000 before the end of this year. Today’s ribbon-cutting ceremony for the landmark facility was attended by a diverse set of stakeholder groups that included state and local officials, agricultural entities, electric cooperatives, youth organizations, and higher-educational institutions. 

“I am thrilled that we are celebrating another milestone with the Silicon Ranch team. Their innovative and holistic approach to solar energy production makes them an ideal choice for Houston County. It is exciting to see that they are not only investing in green and renewable energy, but also in the agricultural industry here in Houston County, Georgia, and the Southeast,” said Dan Perdue, Chairman of the Houston County Board of Commissioners. “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Houston County Development Authority, Silicon Ranch, and former and present Commissioners, who all had the vision and resourcefulness to bring us to this day. I am eagerly looking forward to the continued innovations and impact that will be made at the Houston Solar Project.”

Through an agreement between Silicon Ranch and Green Power EMC, the renewable energy supplier for Georgia’s EMCs, the energy generated by the Houston Solar project is shared by thirty EMCs from across the state and provides enough low-cost energy to help serve more than 11,000 EMC households annually. Under Silicon Ranch’s holistic Regenerative Energy® land management platform, Houston Solar—like other Silicon Ranch projects across the U.S.—presents value and opportunities for the surrounding area that go above and beyond the typical solar power plant. The solar project employs managed sheep grazing under and around the panels to help steward the land, improving soil health, increasing biodiversity, and fostering a healthy grassland ecosystem, all while effectively controlling vegetation. Through this method of land management, Silicon Ranch provides new career opportunities for rural young people—the company recruits from nearby Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College—and increases revenues for local feed, equipment, and hay businesses.

“The Houston Lambing Barn is a testament to our commitment to responsible land stewardship and to designing, building, and operating solar farms that support stronger, healthier, and more resilient communities,” said Reagan Farr, co-founder and CEO of Silicon Ranch. “This new infrastructure represents another milestone in our pursuit of continuous improvement as we take the next step to build sheep flock capacity in Georgia and across the Southeast, and as we perform our cutting-edge genetics work to strengthen the sheep industry across the country.”

Construction of the barn was completed in late 2023, in time for lambing season. The facility is sized to house 400 ewes and their lambs at a time, and Silicon Ranch plans to lamb annually in three separate waves to accommodate an eventual target of 1,200 ewes each year. Along with breeding its own sheep to adapt parasite resistance to survive and thrive in the Southeast, Silicon Ranch committed to participate in the National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP), with one of the largest flocks enrolled in the program. NSIP provides predictable, economically important genetic evaluation information to the U.S. sheep industry to improve the genetics and production of the national flock. After lambing and prior to releasing each new lamb family from the barn to pasture, Silicon Ranch shepherds collect and record lamb birthweights, tag lambs with electronic IDs (EIDs), scan lambs’ and ewes’ EIDs to record their connection (pedigree), and take a needle-size tissue sample for genomic mapping of specific markers. The company then enters this data into the NSIP database. 

“Earlier this year, our team of shepherds worked tirelessly on site to usher nearly 400 healthy lambs into the world, out of the lambing barn, and off to pasture, already beginning to manage the vegetation under our panels, with double the ovine workforce that resided here last season,” said Jim Malooley, Senior Manager of Regenerative Energy Operations at Silicon Ranch, and the lead of the company’s genetic improvement program. “This flock represents the foundation of our genetic improvement program, where every lamb has important performance data regularly collected, including the critical parasite-resistance trait. Each one is also genomically sequenced in an effort to identify correlations between specific gene markers and real-world performance data.”

Roxanne Newton, owner and founder of Hound River Farm in Hahira, Georgia, said, “Hound River Farm has participated in the NSIP since 2006, and we have been pleased to work right here in Georgia with Silicon Ranch, a company that shares the same dedication to improving the genetics and production of their sheep, and to making sure their presence has a tangibly positive impact where they operate.” 

Houston Solar became operational in late 2021 and is located just off I-75, just a few miles from the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter in nearby Perry, Georgia. In 2023, Silicon Ranch hosted more than 250 members of the Georgia Young Farmers Association at the project site to learn more about agrivoltaics and opportunities for aspiring farmers and ranchers.


About Silicon Ranch 

Founded in 2011, Silicon Ranch is a fully integrated provider of customized solar energy, battery storage, and carbon solutions. The company is one of the largest independent power producers in the country, with a portfolio that includes more than five 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 unrivaled track record of project execution. Silicon Ranch has the largest agrivoltaics portfolio in the country under Regenerative Energy®, its nationally recognized holistic approach to project design, construction, and land management. This model incorporates regenerative ranching and other regenerative land management practices to restore soil health, promote biodiversity, and improve water quality. Silicon Ranch’s carbon solutions platform, Clearloop, helps businesses of all sizes reclaim their carbon footprint by commissioning new solar projects in American communities where significant economic and environmental benefits can be achieved. To learn more, visit and Follow Silicon Ranch on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn

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