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HomeRenewablesSilicon Ranch constructs 106-MW solar project for Georgia utility

Silicon Ranch constructs 106-MW solar project for Georgia utility

Green Power EMC, the renewable energy supplier for 38 Georgia Electric Membership Corporations, and Silicon Ranch, a national renewable energy company, commemorated the completion of the 106-MWAC Clay Solar Project in Bluffton, Georgia. The energy generated by the Clay Solar Project is shared by 30 EMCs from across the state and will generate enough reliable to serve more than 17,000 EMC households annually.
Credit: Silicon Ranch

The Clay Solar Project is the ninth utility-scale solar project to reach operational status for Green Power EMC and Silicon Ranch. Collectively, the partners’ portfolio generates more than 550 MWAC of energy, enough to help power more than 90,000 EMC households annually. In 2022, the partners announced an additional collaboration to develop three more projects, totaling an additional 252 MWAC, online by the end of 2024. Silicon Ranch has than 2 GW of solar across Georgia.
Silicon Ranch selected IEA as the EPC contractor, which hired more than 400 craft workers to construct the project, with preference given to the local labor pool and the military veteran community.
“Silicon Ranch’s decision to invest more than $100 million in Clay County was one of the most significant events we have had in decades, and we are thrilled with the productive partnership they have developed with Green Power EMC and our own White Oak Pastures,” said Trey Anderson, Clay County Development Authority chairman. “In the years to come, the Clay Solar project will contribute millions of dollars in new tax revenues to support local infrastructure, our school district, and our development authority. Most importantly, Silicon Ranch is further investing in our future by providing scholarships for the students of the Clay County School System.”
Green Power EMC President Jeff Pratt said the Clay County project marks the largest collaborative solar project brought online by Georgia’s electric cooperatives.
“Georgia’s EMCs continue to grow their renewable energy portfolio with low-cost solar power projects that deliver value to their members and the rural communities the facilities are located in,” Pratt said. “By working together, EMCs are helping to meet the growing renewable energy demands of Georgia’s homes and businesses, while supporting economic development in some of the state’s most rural communities.”
The Clay Solar Project officially reached commercial operation in December 2022.
When the project in Clay County was first announced in 2018, White Oak Pastures owner Will Harris invited Silicon Ranch to visit Bluffton. Harris introduced Silicon Ranch leadership to the methods of planned livestock grazing and regenerative agricultural practices that his family had been deploying at White Oak Pastures for more than two decades. The result was a new partnership and an innovative model for the solar industry that Silicon Ranch calls Regenerative Energy, its holistic approach to project design, construction and land management, that is now deployed across thousands of acres it owns and manages across the country.
“There are no losers in this deal,” Harris said. “The Silicon Ranch land will remain pastoral. Our rural community gets much-needed jobs, and a new renewable energy project to be proud of. With the help of our pre-seeding of the site, Green Power EMC and Silicon Ranch will sequester even more soil carbon and create a record of the ecological impact for others to repeat. In the future, consumers can participate by purchasing the pasture-raised meats that will be grazed by Silicon Ranch on our website.”
In addition, Silicon Ranch developed and funded a gopher tortoise sanctuary in partnership with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, relocating gopher tortoises to additional land that Silicon Ranch owns in Clay County.
News item from Silicon Ranch

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