Wednesday, February 02, 2011

TN Solar Farm green-lighted

Governor Bill Haslam and ECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty announced today that USDOE has completed its environmental review for the West Tennessee Solar Farm in Haywood County and found the project complies with federal regs. The 200-acre West Tennessee Solar Farm adjoining I-40 in Haywood County will be one of the largest solar installations in the Southeast. The farm will have more than 21,000 silicon-based photovoltaic modules producing more than 7,000,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. Development of the Solar Farm is being managed by the University of Tennessee which has contracted with Chattanooga-based Signal Energy as the project’s design/build firm. The project is part of the Volunteer State Solar Initiative, which uses ARRA dollars to create jobs and provide support to a growing solar industry. Under the VSSI, $31 million in ARRA funds will be used to install the Solar Farm and the Tennessee Solar Institute will use $23.5 million to issue grants from the Solar Opportunity Fund, a program designed to underwrite the installation of next generation energy efficiency systems by Tennessee businesses and to provide training, technology and technical assistance to companies in the solar industry value chain. VSSI also facilitates training of workers in new skills and the sharing of “best business practices” among businesses. Earlier background from VNC.

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