HOUSTON, Miss. June 28, 2016 – Silicon Ranch Corporation has announced that the solar farm it began building early this year will soon be generating cost-effective, renewable energy in Chickasaw County.
Once final testing is complete next month the solar farm will generate 3.9 megawatts (MW), which is enough carbon-free electricity to help power more than 400 homes and businesses. The solar farm is located approximately two miles north of downtown Houston on the west side of County Road 116.
The project is part of TVA’s Renewable Standard Offer (RSO) program, a targeted program created to promote cost-competitive renewable energy while serving as a recruitment tool for new industry in the Valley region, retaining and adding investment and jobs.
Silicon Ranch, who is the largest developer, owner, and operator of solar facilities based in the TVA service area, invested in the local community and worked closely with the Three Rivers Planning & Development District, MuniStrategies, local officials and landowners, TVA, First Commercial Bank, and the Natchez Trace Electric Power Association to make the project a reality.
“As long-term owners of our projects, we take great pride in being excellent neighbors and active members in the communities we serve. We love working in Mississippi and are grateful for the partnership we’ve been able to build with TVA and local partners and suppliers. We are excited about the economic and environmental benefits this solar farm has brought and will continue to bring to Chickasaw County and the surrounding region,” Silicon Ranch President and Chief Executive Officer Matt Kisber said.
Silicon Ranch’s construction contractor, LightWave Solar, used approximately 75 workers, over half of whom were hired locally, to install more than 26,000 solar panels. The thin-film panels were locally produced by Stion, Inc., at its manufacturing facility in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The facility the first of its kind in Mississippi to be completely financed and sourced by companieswithin the state.
“Natchez Trace EPA is glad to assist TVA in meeting their goals for renewable energy and hopefully shine a larger spotlight on the area to attract industry to Chickasaw County,” Norma Kilgore, General Manager of Natchez Trace EPA, said.
Jackson based MuniStrategies is an allocatee of New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) incentives and provided $6,500,000 in tax credit financing to enable this important early investment in developing a Solar Value Chain in Mississippi.
“Our team is proud to work with the City of Houston, TVA, Natchez Trace EPA and Three Rivers, and of course Silicon Ranch, who as part of this project committed $140,000 to provide workforce training during the construction process and over the next seven years. This investment will serve as a beacon for how clean energy can help rural businesses and communities,”MuniStrategies Managing Director Mark McCreery said.
The facility is scheduled to be fully operational by mid-July.