Silicon Ranch to build 110MW Tennessee PV project with electricity co-op

Silicon Ranch regularly incorporates dual land use and agriculture into its PV projects. Image: Silicon Ranch.

US independent power producer (IPP) Silicon Ranch has partnered with Middle Tennessee Electric (MTE), a state electric cooperative, to develop a 110MW solar PV project in the Tennessee Valley.

The Copeland solar farm will be located in Cumberland County and is expected online in 2027. As an IPP, Silicon Ranch will fund, construct, own, operate and maintain the site, whilst power and “environmental attributes” will go to MTE.

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Whilst module technology or supply was not specified, Silicon Ranch has a number of long-term module supply agreements in place with US-based cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film solar manufacturer First Solar, which currently extend to 2027.

The deal was signed under the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) Generation Flexibility Program and represents the first utility-scale solar project to be designated under the scheme. Introduced in 2020, the Generation Flexibility Program allows local power companies under the regional utility’s umbrella to generate their own power.

“Because we are owned by the members we serve, MTE is constantly seeking new ways to deliver value and to meet their evolving needs and expectations,” said Chris Jones, president and CEO of MTE. “As part of this effort, our team worked closely with TVA to update the Generation Flexibility Program, and we thank TVA for its collaborative spirit to make this project and this partnership with Silicon Ranch a reality.”

Matt Kisber, co-founder and chairman of Silicon Ranch, said: “Silicon Ranch is thrilled to expand this important work with MTE, the region’s largest co-op and an innovative utility that embraces its leadership role to drive the Tennessee Valley forward.”

In 2022, Silicon Ranch raised over US$1 billion in funds to support its ongoing project development pipeline in the US. Earlier this year, the IPP signed a deal with data centre company Tract to incorporate renewables into the development of data centres in Nevada and Utah. Previously, it had signed a deal in partnership with TVA  and the Walton Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) to power the Georgia and Tennessee data centres of social media giant Meta.

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