Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives Inc. (IEA), an infrastructure construction company with renewable energy and specialty civil expertise, has been awarded a 50 MW AC solar contract to construct the Turkey Creek Solar Ranch in Garrard County in Kentucky.
Silicon Ranch Corp., an independent solar power producer, awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to IEA Constructors, a subsidiary of IEA that manages utility-scale energy and heavy civil infrastructure projects.
“IEA is proud to work again with Silicon Ranch to expand solar capacity in the United States,” states Joe Broom, IEA’s senior vice president of solar construction operations. “The Turkey Creek Solar Ranch will put Kentucky on the domestic map for solar and help bring additional renewable sources to the state.”
The Turkey Creek Solar Ranch is the first utility-scale solar project to receive approval from the Kentucky Public Service Commission Siting Board. Silicon Ranch will own and operate the solar array for the long-term. Construction is scheduled to begin in December 2021 and is expected to be completed by November 2022. IEA’s scope of work includes the installation of owner-furnished First Solar modules and full balance of system EPC construction, including civil, mechanical and electrical work.
“All of us at Silicon Ranch are grateful to our partners for enabling us to bring quality jobs, workforce development and an innovative solar project that keeps land in agricultural production to rural eastern Kentucky,” says Reagan Farr, Silicon Ranch’s co-founder and CEO. “We recognize Kentucky’s strong agricultural heritage and are committed to designing, building and operating the Turkey Creek Solar Ranch in a way that continues this legacy in partnership with the ag community.”
Silicon Ranch will keep the land housing the Turkey Creek Solar Ranch in agricultural production post-construction through managed sheep grazing and other regenerative pastureland management practices under its Regenerative Energy platform. Through these regenerative agriculture practices, Silicon Ranch will restore the land to a functioning grassland ecosystem and deliver additional benefits to the region, such as carbon sequestration, restored soil health, improved water quality and enhanced biodiversity.
“Kentucky’s new energy strategy, KYE3, emphasizes community-based opportunities where energy, environment and economic development converge,” comments Kentucky Office of Energy Policy Director Kenya Stump. “Silicon Ranch’s Turkey Creek project is an example of KYE3 strategy in action where energy production is working with the land and providing benefits to the community and the environment.”