Green Power EMC, the renewable energy supplier for 38 Georgia Electric Membership Corporations (EMCs), and Silicon Ranch, one of the nation’s largest independent solar power producers, today officially dedicated a 52-Megawatt (MWAC) solar energy plant in Jeff Davis County, Georgia. The 480-acre facility features technology that allows more than 630,000 solar panels to track the sun from east to west and will provide enough low-cost, renewable power to help serve more than 8,500 EMC households annually. Silicon Ranch hired McCarthy Building Companies, one of the largest American-owned construction firms, to construct the facility, which took more than eight months to build and officially reached commercial operation in December 2016. The project’s construction supported more than 300 jobs, the vast majority of which were filled by local labor and local subcontractors.
The 52MWAC facility is the second to be completed by the partnership between Green Power EMC and Silicon Ranch. In December 2015, the pair formally dedicated a 20MWAC solar project, also near Hazlehurst in Jeff Davis County. At a combined 72MWAC, the two projects make Jeff Davis County one of the top solar communities in the United States. Because of its forward-thinking approach to renewable energy procurement, Green Power EMC was named the 2016 Electric Cooperative Utility of the Year by the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) during a ceremony at the Solar Power International conference in Las Vegas in September.
Silicon Ranch President and CEO Matt Kisber said, “Silicon Ranch is proud to expand the long-term partnership we have with Green Power EMC and its members. The recognition Green Power EMC received from SEPA was well-deserved, as it has established a meaningful legacy for its members through its commitment to provide them and the state of Georgia with renewable power that’s both low-cost and reliable.” Jeff Pratt, President of Green Power EMC, noted that more than 30 EMCs will share in the energy produced by these two facilities in Hazlehurst, providing renewable energy for an increasing number of Georgians interested in this important technology. “We are grateful for the support from our members and are excited to extend the partnership we have developed with Silicon Ranch to another major solar project in Georgia,” Pratt said.
Under the agreement, Silicon Ranch will own and operate the solar array, and Green Power EMC will purchase all the energy and environmental attributes it produces at cost-competitive rates over the life of the contract. According to Kisber, Silicon Ranch owns and operates every solar project it develops for the long-term. “Silicon Ranch is committed to our relationships with our partners and with the communities we serve,” Kisber said. “We stand behind the performance of our projects day in and day out, and everything we do is to ensure that our projects reflect well on our partners and our communities. We are honored to have a second project in Hazlehurst and to being long-term members of the local community.” Green Power EMC and Silicon Ranch held a dedication ceremony at the solar farm, where they were joined by representatives from the Georgia EMCs as well as local, regional, and state officials. Students from the local high school received a special tour of the facility prior to the ceremony.