(Jefferson, Ga., May 27, 2015) Jackson EMC President/CEO Chip Jakins announced today that its renewable energy supplier, Green Power EMC has reached an agreement to purchase the full output of a new 52-Megawatt solar array planned for construction in Jeff Davis County near Hazlehurst, Ga. Jackson EMC is among 27 Georgia electric cooperatives that will receive solar energy from the project, helping to make Georgia the fastest-growing solar state in the U.S. Jackson EMC members will receive roughly 5 MW of the plant’s total output.
According to Jakins, the 52-MW solar array will occupy approximately 600 acres, includes technology that allows the panels to track the sun from east to west, and will produce enough electricity to serve approximately 8,500 EMC households. Once completed, the 52-MW array will generate more than 134 million kilowatt-hours of clean, renewable electricity annually. That amount of clean energy offsets 92,500 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to burning 10.4 million gallons of gasoline, or the emissions from more than 19,500 automobiles.
This is the second such agreement that Green Power EMC has executed with owner-operator Silicon Ranch Corporation. Under the agreement, Silicon Ranch will own and operate the solar array, and Green Power EMC will purchase all the energy and environmental attributes it produces at cost-competitive rates over a 30-year period. Construction on the 52-MW array is scheduled to begin later this year, and the facility will be ready to produce electricity in the fall of 2016.
Jakins said the 52-MW solar project is the result of a request for proposals issued in late 2013 to add more solar energy to Green Power EMC’s portfolio. The company provides renewable energy to 38 of Georgia’s EMCs. “The addition of one of the largest solar projects in Georgia to our power generation portfolio not only demonstrates our commitment to Georgia’s renewable resources, it also allows our member consumers the choice of purchasing competitively priced solar energy,” said Jakins. “We are excited to be a part of this major expansion of solar energy in Georgia.”
Green Power EMC and its partner, Silicon Ranch, are also developing a 20-MW solar array near Hazlehurst that will begin producing electricity in late 2015. Jackson EMC members will also receive 5 MW from that project. These projects total over 72-MW of capacity and combined will more than triple the total renewable capacity of Green Power EMC – from the current 32 MW to about 104 MW. Collectively, the two Hazlehurst projects are one of the largest solar generating facilities in Georgia and will propel Jeff Davis County into position as one of the top solar communities in the United States.
Jackson EMC is a consumer-owned cooperative providing electricity and related services to more than 215,000 members in 10 counties.
Green Power EMC was the first green energy provider in the state. It was created by Georgia’s EMCs in 2001 and has been selling green energy since 2003. In addition to landfill gas generation, Green Power EMC obtains green power from renewable facilities all over the state, including low-impact hydroelectric, biomass from wood waste and solar power. EMCs that own Green Power EMC serve more than 4.1 million Georgia residents. For more information about renewable energy efforts in Georgia visit http://www.greenpoweremc.com/whatisgreenpower/solar.aspx.
Silicon Ranch Corporation is a top 15 solar owner-operator in the U.S., providing customized solar solutions based on the needs of its customers. Silicon Ranch also owns and operates a solar farm in Social Circle, Ga.