70-MW solar project will support Georgia electric co-ops

Silicon Ranch contracted Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives to construct the 70-MW Cedar Springs Solar Ranch in Early County, Georgia. The array will supply power to Green Power EMC, the renewable energy provider for 38 Georgia electric cooperatives.

Nashville, Tennessee-based independent power producer Silicon Ranch is funding Cedar Springs’ installation and will own and operate the solar array for the long term. Infrastructure Energy Alternatives subsidiary IEA Constructors will provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services on the project.

Construction is scheduled to commence by the end of Q1 2022 and the facility is expected to be online by the end of the year.

IEA’s scope of work includes installing modules and full balance of system EPC construction, including all civil, mechanical and electrical work. More than 215,000 First Solar Series 6 modules will be installed across the 1,400-acre site in rural southwest Georgia.

“IEA is excited to continue its strong partnership with Silicon Ranch, a true pioneer in the solar energy space,” said Joe Broom, IEA’s senior VP of solar construction operations. “We look forward to utilizing local skilled labor to help safely and efficiently complete construction of the Cedar Springs Solar Ranch project while bringing additional clean energy options to the people of Georgia.”

During construction, IEA plans to hire approximately 250 workers, recruit primarily from Early County, the surrounding area and the military veteran community. The project will hire for positions ranging from entry-level to experienced, and IEA will provide workers seeking utility-scale solar construction experience with on-site training in tracker assembly, wire harnessing and module installation.

“The Cedar Springs Solar Ranch is our latest opportunity to showcase some of the special qualities that make Georgia such a great place for business, including its renowned workforce,” said Reagan Farr, CEO and co-founder of Silicon Ranch. “Early County holds many firsts for Silicon Ranch, including the first-ever new-build facility to incorporate our Regenerative Energy model for land management with White Oak Pastures. We are pleased to partner again with IEA and White Oak Pastures to build on this legacy, and we thank our partners at Green Power EMC, as well as the Early County Board of Commissioners, for making this meaningful investment possible.”

Silicon Ranch will return the land housing the Cedar Springs Solar Ranch to agricultural production through managed sheep grazing under and around solar panels and other regenerative pastureland management practices via its Regenerative Energy platform. Through these regenerative practices, Silicon Ranch will restore the land to a functioning grassland ecosystem and which will result in carbon sequestration, restored soil health, improved water quality and enhanced biodiversity.

“Four Georgia electric cooperatives will share in the power generated by this new facility which will produce enough clean energy to help serve more than 11,000 households,” said Jeff Pratt, Green Power EMC President. “In addition to adding more low-cost solar power to our members’ renewable energy portfolio, we are proud that this project will create job opportunities and support economic development in Early County.”

Since 2010, IEA has constructed more than a gigawatt of solar farms across the United States and Canada. IEA ranks 8th for solar construction revenues among Engineering News-Record’s 2021 Top 400 Contractors. For more information on these rankings, please visit enr.com.

News item from IEA

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