TVA looks at taking power from two Silicon Ranch solar projects in Mississippi

The Tennessee Valley Authority is taking comment until June 17 on its Environmental Assessment of two proposed power purchase agreements with solar generating facilities to be located near Houston in Chickasaw County, Mississippi.

TVA has tentatively approved agreements to purchase the electricity generated by Silicon Ranch Corp.’s proposed 3.9-MW (dc) Houston, MS 3.0 MW Solar Project and adjacent 1-MW (dc) Chickasaw County Solar Farm for 20 years, pending the outcome of the assessment.

The facilities would occupy a total of about 21 acres near the town of Houston and use multiple rows of fixed-tilt photovoltaic panels to generate electricity. The facilities would connect to the TVA transmission system through a nearby Natchez Trace Electric Power Association power line.

A portion of the proposed solar facilities would be constructed within the 100-year floodplain of Pettigrew Creek and an unnamed creek. TVA has determined that there is no practicable alternative to siting the facilities in the floodplain. Silicon Ranch has designed the facilities to minimize the impacts of flooding and the results of an engineering analysis show the facilities would not affect area flooding.

TVA’s 2015 Integrated Resource Plan recommends the continued expansion of renewable energy capacity, including the addition of between 175 MW and 800 MW of solar capacity within its jurisdiction by 2023. The proposed action would help meet this need for additional solar capacity, the EA points out.

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.