Strata Solar is working with the Tennessee Valley Authority and Pickwick Electric Cooperative to develop the two largest solar energy installations in the Tennessee Valley near Selmer in McNairy County, TN.
Strata Solar will build and maintain two 20-megawatt solar farms interconnected to the TVA power system through Pickwick Electric Cooperative. TVA will buy the electricity at market rates under TVA’s Renewable Standard Offer program.
Together, the two installations could generate enough electricity in one year to power 4,000 average homes in the Tennessee Valley.
“This project will add a tremendous amount of solar power to our already strong renewable lineup,” said Patty West, TVA director of Renewable Energy Programs. “Because TVA is purchasing the output at market rates, the electricity will also be among our cheapest solar power, moving us toward our vision of being a national leader in providing low-cost and cleaner energy.”
Current plans call for the solar farms to have more than 160,000 solar panels installed on over 300 acres. Each farm will be four times bigger than the largest current solar installation on the TVA system, the University of Tennessee’s five-megawatt West Tennessee Solar Farm that opened in 2012 in Haywood County, TN.
“We are thrilled to be working with TVA & PEC on these pioneering solar projects,” said Markus Wilhelm, founder and CEO of Strata Solar. “The town of Selmer has been extremely welcoming to Strata and very helpful throughout the project planning. We are looking forward to bringing a wealth of new jobs and an abundance of renewable energy to such a fine city.”
Karl Dudley, president of Pickwick Electric, said, “We are proud to be an integral part of TVA’s goal to build a stronger renewable portfolio. This project will also spur economic development in our area, and that is always a good thing.”
The Strata Solar projects have been accepted into TVA’s Renewable Standard Offer program, pending an environmental review and interconnection studies that must be completed before construction begins. TVA is accepting public comments on the environmental review online at http://www.tva.com/environment/reports/strata/index.htm through Aug. 13.
TVA currently owns or purchases more than 6,400 megawatts of renewable generation, including 77 megawatts of solar energy. It also supports the renewable energy industry through its Green Power Switch, Green Power Providers, and Solar Solutions Initiatives programs.
Strata Solar LLC, based in Chapel Hill, N.C., is an integrated solar energy company that owns and operates commercial and utility scale solar energy systems. With over 150 megawatts commissioned and a gigawatt under development, Strata is one of the nation’s largest solar integrators.