Tennessee Valley’s Largest Solar Farms Locating Near Selmer, TN

Thursday, August 1, 2013

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. 

Community Organizations Celebrating Milestone Anniversaries

Three organizations committed to the betterment of Cleveland and Bradley County are celebrating milestone anniversaries this year. The Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce is turning 90, and both Cleveland Associated Industries and Junior Achievement of the Ocoee Region will celebrate golden anniversaries. Combined, these organizations represent 190 years of service. “Our ... (click for more)

TSBDC To Recognize Local Rising Stars And Small Business Person Of The Year During CEO Speaker Series On Oct. 14

Precluding the CEO Speaker Series on Oct. 14, Sharyn Moreland, managing director, TN Small Business Development Center will recognize local Rising Stars and the TSBDC Small Business Person of the Year for 2015. The Rising Star award is given annually by the TSBDC to the companies that best exemplify not only business success, but also an outstanding working relationship with ... (click for more)

Legislative Hearing On Volkswagen Emissions Scandal To Be Held In Chattanooga Oct. 29; Haslam To Visit VW Plant Wednesday

The Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee’s Appropriation Subcommittee will be conducting a hearing in Chattanooga to review the financial impact on the state from Volkswagen’s violation of U.S. emissions standards. The meeting will be held at the Hamilton County Department of Education, 3074 Hickory Valley Road, on Thursday, Oct. 29, from 1:30-3:30 p.m.  Members ... (click for more)

Bradley County Commission Decides Not To Provide Animal Pickup Service

Bradley County Commissioners on Monday finally put animal control to rest. It was not easy and it was not without confusion, but in the end, the county will not provide animal pickup service. Confusion began when commissioners were asked to approve the agenda, which included two options for animal control pick up. Item “D” provided for the SPCA of Bradley County to pick ... (click for more)

VW PILOT Crash Landing

The Volkswagen emission scandal proves the point citizen activist, Ms. Helen Burns Sharp, has repeatedly brought to the attention of local government officials. She urged them to "beef up" the PILOT contracts before approving PILOT tax abatements. Any logical person would agree, because it is the only way to recoup a tax loss when unthinkable situations arise. Volkswagen's willful ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: VW’s Primer In Disaster

Volkswagen America has gotten into a real bad “tight,” causing their red-faced leaders to huddle with spin doctors, crisis consultants and countless priests in confessional booths. Conversely, I suspect I have found a solution that would get them out of the mud and hasten their return as one of the top automotive providers in the world. You see, on Aug. 14, 1979, the playbook on ... (click for more)