Phoenix Solar and Silicon Ranch to construct ‘largest’ solar plant in Georgia

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PV system integrator, Phoenix Solar, has signed a contract with solar developer Silicon Ranch for a 38.6MW solar plant near Atlanta, Georgia.

The companies said the plant would be the largest utility-scale system in Georgia, and will be named ‘Simon Solar farm’ – as the plant is recycling land formerly used as the 1930s Simon cotton farm.

It will also be the largest installation to date in the 14-year history of Pheonix Solar, the US subsidiary of Germany-based Pheonix Solar AG.

The ground-mounted project covering 161 acres aims to be complete by the end of 2013. Phoenix Solar will use modules from JA Solar, SMA inverters and Unirac mounting systems.

Georgia’s largest electrical utility, Georgia Power, has agreed to buy electricity generated from the solar park under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Silicon ranch.

Georgia is currently ranked 21st in national solar energy production with 28MW currently installed. Simon Solar farm will significantly increase Georgia’s installed solar capacity and national ranking.

The contract reinforces Phoenix Solar’s previously announced intention to restructure away from German markets and expand into the US and Asia.

Bernd Köhler, chief executive of Phoenix Solar AG, said: “Phoenix Solar AG underlines that the Simon Solar project is among the strategic projects which will contribute to its planned increase of group revenues to between €160 million and €190 million in 2013. Being selected to develop the Simon Solar project reaffirms our company’s strong commitment to focus on international growth markets, including North America and Asia.”

The project creator Steve Ivey, who is the inherited owner of Simon Cotton Farm, said: “I have picked up where my grandfather Simons left off and am farming again on the land, it is the exact same concept — using the sun to make a crop.” Ivey continued, saying his “crop is clean energy.”

Matt Kisber, president and CEO of Silicon Ranch, said: “Silicon Ranch is proud to be building the largest solar development in Georgia and we look forward to producing clean, renewable electricity at this facility before the end of this year. This project will further develop Georgia’s position as a leader in the adoption of clean, renewable solar power.”

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