Construction to kick off Feb. 1 on 52-MW Silicon Ranch solar project in Georgia

Renewable energy provider Silicon Ranch Corp. and the renewable energy team at McCarthy Building Companies Inc. are ready to begin construction at Silicon Ranch’s 52-MW (ac) solar plant in Jeff Davis County, Georgia, with that project to provide power at cost-competitive rates to Green Power EMC for the next thirty years.

In June, Green Power EMC and owner-operator Silicon Ranch announced their agreement for the project, which will be the second large-scale facility brought online by the partners in less than a year when it is completed later this fall. The first, a 20-MW (ac) facility that was officially dedicated this past December, is located less than a mile from where the 52-MW plant will be built.

Jeff Pratt, President of Green Power EMC, said in a Jan. 13 statement that both projects represent a substantial commitment to renewable energy by the Electric Membership Corporations (EMCs) of Georgia. “Over thirty EMCs will share in the energy produced from these two facilities, providing renewable energy for a growing number of Georgians interested in this important technology. We are grateful for the support from our members and for the partnership we have developed with Silicon Ranch.”

Silicon Ranch selected McCarthy, one of the largest American-owned construction firms, for its extensive track record with utility-scale power projects. McCarthy is currently working with Silicon Ranch nationwide on projects in excess of 200 MW and plans to secure various local subcontractors and craftsmen to provide the bulk of on-site construction work for the 10-month project in Hazlehurst, just as it has done for all other Silicon Ranch facilities.

The solar facility’s construction, which will begin on Feb. 1, is expected to support over 200 jobs. McCarthy will provide local workers seeking utility-scale solar construction experience with on-site training in pile driving, tracker assembly, and panel installation.

Silicon Ranch President and CEO Matt Kisber said: “At Silicon Ranch we take a long-term view of our relationships and our responsibilities as a developer, owner, operator, and partner in the communities where we do business. We are committed to using local service providers and hiring from the local labor pool as much as possible.”

The 52-MW array will occupy approximately 450 acres, will include technology that allows the panels to track the sun from east to west, and will produce enough electricity to serve approximately 8,500 EMC households.

“McCarthy is honored to partner with Silicon Ranch and Green Power EMC for this solar power project,” said Scott Canada, vice president of Renewable Energy at McCarthy. “We have already found the local community extremely supportive and are looking forward to working with our local partners to bring this project online.”

Green Power EMC was the first green energy provider in the state. It was created by Georgia’s EMCs in 2001 and has been selling green energy since 2003.

Silicon Ranch, one of the top 15 solar operators in the U.S., is a turnkey, renewable energy provider that customizes solar solutions based upon the individual needs of its customers.

McCarthy Building Companies is the nation’s 12th largest domestic general contractor. The firm regularly ranks among the Top 25 Utility Solar Contractors in the United States, having under-construction or constructed more than 211 MW throughout the United States.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.