The first solar farm in the Tri-Cities was launched Tuesday in Telford.

From STAFF REPORTS

BrightRidge, the Tennessee Valley Authority and Silicon Ranch “Flipped the Switch” on the Tri-Cities’ first solar farm on Tuesday, May 7, formally inaugurating production from a FIVE-megawatt solar farm near Telford.

BrightRidge officials also announced that 87 percent of its community solar production has already been allocated to subscribing commercial and residential customers. BrightRidge offers customers a monthly or long-term lease.

“This was not a hard sell at all,” BrightRidge CEO Jeff Dykes said. “Without an official marketing push, both commercial and residential customers jumped on this opportunity. It demonstrates real demand in our marketplace for a clean energy product that avoids the high cost of private commercial and residential solar installations.”

Under the BrightRidge Solar Community, 500 kW was set aside for commercial and residential customers. Currently, only 65 kW in capacity is left to purchase under the program.

Silicon Ranch, which built the 40-acre solar farm, generates up to 8 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, with zero carbon emissions and zero water consumption. This is enough capacity to power more than 500 homes.

“The success of this community solar project demonstrates that BrightRidge represents the best of public power,” Silicon Ranch Co-Founder and CEO Matt Kisber said. “BrightRidge Directors and staff deserve enormous credit for listening to those they serve and establishing the right partnerships to deliver what customers want and need. Silicon Ranch is honored to be part of the BrightRidge team.”

The entire project was developed in partnership with TVA under its Distributed Solar Solutions program.

“Partnership projects like the BrightRidge solar farm align to the mission of TVA,” said Chris Hansen, director, TVA Origination and Renewables. “Community solar combines energy and environmental stewardship to provide access to customers and businesses who support clean energy.”

BrightRidge, TVA and Silicon Ranch all agreed on the importance of readily available solar energy to power future economic development efforts.

“Clean energy is increasingly a factor in economic development, and equally important to many of our customers,” Dykes said. “Whether electric, broadband, solar or future products, we aim to deliver affordable, innovative products that offer value for all of our customers.”

The solar facility, owned by Silicon Ranch and constructed by McCarthy Building Companies, deploys 41,760 solar panel modules manufactured by First Solar. These modules are mounted on 2,262 single-axis piles guided by 174 trackers.

BrightRidge maintains a meter on its website at https://www.brightridge.com/home-service/programs-services/green-power/solar/ which shows daily production. For more information on the BrightRidge Community Solar offering, please visit www.BrightRidge.com or phone (423)952-5000 and select electric from the menu.