Georgia Electric Co-Op, Silicon Ranch planning 252-MW Solar portfolio in state

Jan. 13, 2022
Silicon Ranch is funding the three utility-scale solar facilities and plans to build them in stages over the next three years. Green Power EMC will purchase all the energy generated by the facilities on behalf of its member cooperatives

The renewable energy supplier for dozens of Georgia Electric Membership Corporations will join a plan to build 252 MW of solar energy capacity to serve 16 cooperatives around the state.

Green Power EMC and independent power producer Silicon Ranch will work together--with Green Power as contracted end user--on  bringing the solar portfolio online and serve 16 subscribing cooperatives. The total portfolio will be spread across three locations and near previously completed solar farms in southern Georgia, according to the report.

Silicon Ranch is funding the three utility-scale solar facilities and plans to build them in stages over the next three years. The company will also own, operate, and maintain the arrays for the long term.

"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," said Silicon Ranch Co-Founder and CEO Reagan Farr. "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."

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Green Power EMC will purchase all the energy and environmental attributes generated by the facilities on behalf of its member cooperatives.

The first site, Snipesville III, will be a 107 MW solar facility located in Jeff Davis County. Construction is expected to commence later this year, and the facility is scheduled to be operational by mid-2023. The site will be in close proximity to two other cooperative solar projects.

Nearby, Silicon Ranch and Green Power EMC commissioned Snipesville I (86 MW) in December 2020. Silicon Ranch completed construction of Snipesville II (107 MW) 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. (All announced megawattage is at alternating current levels.)

The second site in the portfolio, DeSoto II, will be a 65 MW solar facility located in Lee County. Silicon Ranch expects to begin construction in late 2022 and plans to bring the facility online by late 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.

The third site, Ailey, will be an 80 MW solar facility located in Montgomery County. Silicon Ranch plans to construct the project in 2024 and projects the facility to be online late that year.

Green Power EMC supplies available renewables generation to 38 Georgia Electric Membership Corp. members.

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(Rod Walton, senior editor for EnergyTech, is a 14-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a newspaper and trade journalist. He can reached at [email protected]).