Green Power EMC, a renewable energy supplier for 38 Georgia electric membership corporations (EMCs), and Silicon Ranch, an independent solar power producer, are bringing an additional 252 MW AC of solar energy online to serve 16 subscribing cooperatives from across Georgia. The total capacity will be generated at three locations in southern Georgia.
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. 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 AC 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 AC) in December 2020. 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.
The second site in the portfolio, DeSoto II, will be a 65 MW AC 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 AC 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.
“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. Once each project is operational, Silicon Ranch will restore its land to a functioning grassland ecosystem, while keeping the site in agricultural production through managed sheep grazing using regenerative pastureland 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.”