Mobility supplier DENSO and Silicon Ranch have broken ground on a new solar facility at DENSO’s Maryville, Tenn., location, along with the City of Maryville’s Electric Department and Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The new solar farm is the first of four solar production facilities the group plans to bring online in Tennessee.
When the solar projects are completed and coupled with additional energy conservation initiatives, 100% of electrical needs for DENSO’s Maryville facility will be sourced from renewable energy. This will help the Maryville location, which is a manufacturing hub for DENSO electrification and safety systems.
“Our mission is to contribute to a better world, and as part of that, we’re committed to reducing CO2 emissions, not only through our products, but also in our operations and processes,” said Shinichi Nakamizo, president of DENSO’s Maryville facility and a senior director of DENSO Corp. “We’re grateful to Maryville Electric, Silicon Ranch and TVA for helping us turn our commitment into action. We also thank our Maryville team, whose leadership is instrumental in this project and helps advance local communities toward a clean energy future.”
Through collaboration with the City of Maryville Electric Department and Silicon Ranch, DENSO will access a portion of the total 10.5 MW of solar energy produced under TVA’s Generation Flexibility program, starting with the facility located on DENSO’s Maryville campus. The TVA program enables participating local power companies (LPCs) to generate up to 5% of their total energy load to meet the renewable energy goals of their customers, attract sustainability-focused businesses to their communities, and solve individual challenges for their distribution systems.
“TVA has been bringing renewable energy to the Valley for over 20 years, and this partnership using TVA Green programs expands the reach that our Green Renewable Solutions have on local communities across our region,” states Doug Perry, TVA’s senior vice president of commercial energy solutions. “With a shared mission in mind, this solar project with Silicon Ranch and the others to follow will not only help us meet our own sustainability goals but those of our LPCs and their customers as well.”
“These solar farms are an incredible opportunity for us to bring renewable energy to our community from a trusted source,” says Baron Swafford, City of Maryville’s public utilities director. “TVA’s Generation Flexibility Program allows us to combine the unique offerings of DENSO and Silicon Ranch to develop a sustainable power source for our communities and those around us in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains.”
“Part of what makes these solar facilities so special is that every partner involved shares a commitment to the success of this community and the surrounding region,” adds Matt Kisber, Silicon Ranch’s co-founder and chairman. “Silicon Ranch takes great pride in our Tennessee roots, and our colleague who led our development work here is a Maryville native whose family has been here for seven generations. Each step in the process of bringing these solar farms to life is another proof-point for what is possible when people genuinely care about delivering positive outcomes for the communities we serve.”