Home Energy system A solar farm inaugurates in Bedford | Local News

A solar farm inaugurates in Bedford | Local News

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Vanderbilt University, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Nashville Electric Service (NES), Duck River Electric Membership Corporation (DREMC), and Silicon Ranch Corporation broke ground Wednesday morning on a new solar farm currently under construction in the county of Bedford. The 35-megawatt (MWAC) Vanderbilt I Solar Farm is expected to begin generating power before the end of 2022, bringing new generation of renewable energy to the Tennessee Valley.

Originally announced in January 2020, the partnership was the first of its kind under TVA’s nationally recognized green investment program, which matches the demand for green energy from various commercial, industrial and organizational customers with new large-scale solar projects located in the valley. The award-winning renewable energy program provides customers with an efficient, timely and cost-effective solution to achieving their sustainability goals in a way that benefits the entire community.

“Today marks a significant milestone for the Tennessee Valley as we inaugurate the first ever project developed under TVA’s Green Invest program, and we are thrilled to do so with Vanderbilt University, our longtime partners. NES and DREMC, and our local renewable energy partner Silicon Ranch,” said Jeannette Mills, Executive Vice President and Chief External Relations Officer of TVA. to come up. Green Invest has positioned us to bring together renewable energy customers and partners who all invest in our communities.”

In 2019, Vanderbilt announced its goal to power the campus entirely with renewable energy and become carbon neutral by 2050. Renewable generation from Vanderbilt I will offset approximately 70% of annual greenhouse gas emissions from reach 2 from Vanderbilt University, or the equivalent of enough power to help serve more than 6,000 homes for a year.

“We are thrilled to partner with TVA, NES and Silicon Ranch on this historic solar project, which we hope will provide a model for collaborative, forward-thinking solutions that can be adopted by other organizations in our region and across the country,” said Daniel Diermeier, Chancellor of Vanderbilt University. “The Vanderbilt I Solar Farm will generate new jobs and tax revenue for the local community and will also provide new education and research opportunities for our faculty and students, setting a bold precedent for how we can continue to work together on behalf of our common future. .”

Nashville-based Silicon Ranch is funding the project and plans to hire more than 250 craftsmen, the majority of whom will be recruited from the Bedford County area and military veteran community, to install the facility. Silicon Ranch will also own, operate and maintain the Vanderbilt I Solar Farm, a disciplined approach the company takes to every project it develops.

“I and several of our colleagues are proud Vanderbilt alumni, and all of us at Silicon Ranch applaud this world-class institution for its bold and thoughtful leadership,” said Matt Kisber, co-founder and president of Silicon Ranch. . “Thanks to Vanderbilt’s commitment and the vision of our friends at TVA, NES and DREMC, Silicon Ranch is poised to invest more than $1 billion in renewable energy projects in the Tennessee Valley. , and we’re proud to extend that legacy to Bedford County.”

To facilitate the Vanderbilt I solar farm, Vanderbilt entered into an agreement with TVA and NES, the university’s local power company. The solar project will be interconnected to the electricity grid through the distribution system of another local electricity company, DREMC.

“NES is proud to partner with TVA, Vanderbilt, DREMC and Silicon Ranch to reduce carbon emissions in our region,” said Decosta Jenkins, President and CEO of NES. “We are committed to providing safe, reliable and affordable energy while continuing to listen to the needs of our customers.”

“Duck River Electric is thrilled to support this project and our friends at Vanderbilt, NES, TVA and Silicon Ranch on this journey,” said Scott Spence, President and CEO of DREMC. “It’s a privilege to help help Vanderbilt meet its sustainability goals, while ensuring that Duck River Electric members don’t incur any expense.”

Vanderbilt Solar Farm I will utilize Silicon Ranch’s Regenerative Energy® transformative land management model, a holistic approach to design, construction and operations that co-locates renewable energy generation with regenerative agriculture practices. The innovative platform offers valuable environmental, social and economic outcomes beyond the significant positive impacts that a solar installation can generate on its own, creating additional value for surrounding communities and project stakeholders. Once the project is operational, Silicon Ranch will restore the land to a functioning grassland ecosystem while maintaining the project in crop production through managed sheep grazing using regenerative land management practices.