Green Power EMC, a supplier of renewable energy for 38 Georgia Electric Membership Corporations, (EMCs), as well as Silicon Ranch, an independent producer of solar power, have brought an additional 252MW AC solar energy online to serve 16 Georgia cooperatives. The three locations that will generate the total capacity are located in southern Georgia.
Silicon Ranch will finance the three utility-scale solar facilities. They plan to build them in stages over three years. The arrays will be owned, operated and maintained by the company for the long-term. Green Power EMC will buy all the energy and environmental attributes produced by the facilities for its member cooperatives.
Snipesville III will be the first site. It is a 107 MW AC solar plant located in Jeff Davis County. Construction is expected to begin later in the year and the facility will be operational by mid-2023. The site is located in close proximity of two other cooperative solar projects. In December 2020, Silicon Ranch and Green Power EMC ordered Snipesville I (86MW AC) to be constructed. Silicon Ranch completed construction of Snipesville II (107 MW AC) in December 2021 to provide power to one of Green Power EMC’s member cooperatives, Walton EMC, as part of the utility’s agreement to supply renewable energy to Meta’s data center in Newton County.
DeSoto II, the second site in the portfolio will be a 65 MW AC facility located in Lee County. Silicon Ranch plans to start construction in the latter part of 2022 and bring the facility online in the latter half of 2023. The facility will be built next to DeSoto I, where construction is already underway and, like Snipesville II, the DeSoto I facility will serve Walton EMC to support Meta’s Georgia operations.
Ailey, a third site, will be an 80 MW AC facility for solar energy located in Montgomery County. Silicon Ranch plans to build the project in 2024, and expects the facility to be online by the end of the year.
“Over the past eight years, Silicon Ranch has been proud to work shoulder to shoulder with Green Power EMC and the Georgia cooperatives to deploy more than one gigawatt of solar power and invest more than $1 billion across the state of Georgia,” says Reagan Farr, Silicon Ranch’s co-founder and CEO. “Over the past year, Silicon Ranch employed more than 1,000 Georgians to help us construct solar facilities across the state, and thanks to the leadership of Green Power EMC and Georgia’s electric cooperatives, we will hire 1,000 more to help drive meaningful economic impacts in the communities where we locate.”
Each of the projects will integrate Silicon Ranch’s Regenerative Energy model, a holistic approach to design, construction and operations that co-locates solar energy production with regenerative agriculture practices. Silicon Ranch will make each project operational and restore the land to a functioning grassland ecosystem. It will also keep the site in agricultural production by managing sheep grazing using regenerative pastoral management practices.
“Georgia’s cooperatives continue to grow their renewable energy portfolio with collaborative, low-cost solar power projects that deliver value to their members and the rural communities they locate in, not only through the clean energy they provide, but also through the manner in which it is generated,” mentions Jeff Pratt, Green Power EMC’s President. “By combining renewable energy generation with regenerative agriculture practices, this innovative solar portfolio with Silicon Ranch will benefit the people, land, environment and local economies in Jeff Davis, Lee and Montgomery Counties.”