TVA seeks input on power contract with 20-MW Silicon Ranch solar project

The Tennesssee Valley Authority is taking comment until Aug. 26 on the draft Environmental Assessment for a proposed power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Selmer North I Solar Project, to be located near Selmer in McNairy County, Tennessee.

TVA has tentatively approved an agreement to purchase the electricity generated by Silicon Ranch Corp.’s proposed 20-MW (dc) Selmer North I Solar Project for 20 years, pending the outcome of the assessment. The solar facility would occupy about 99 acres and use multiple rows of single-axis tilt photovoltaic panels to generate electricity.

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

The tentative power contract is with Selmer North I LLC, the facility-specific entity affiliated with Silicon Ranch. The proposed solar facility would be constructed and operated by Silicon Ranch. The PPA would be executed through TVA’s Renewable Standard Offer program, under which TVA agrees to purchase qualifying renewable energy at set prices for a 20-year period.

The Selmer I facility would be connected to a distribution line owned/maintained by Pickwick Electric Cooperative, which would transmit power to the TVA network. It would connect to the existing Pickwick Electric 25-kV distribution line along TN 142 on the north side of the project site. The distribution line would be rebuilt with new conductors installed on the existing poles. The line connects to Pickwick Electric’s Forrest Hills Substation northwest of the project site.

The PV panels would be mounted on motor-operated axis tracker structures, commonly referred to as single-axis trackers. The axis trackers would be designed pivot the panels along their north-south axes to follow the path of the sun from the east to the west across the sky.

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.