Silicon Ranch, founded in 2010 by former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, his economic advisors Matt Kisber and Reagan Farr, will develop 30 megawatts of ground-mounted solar on Ivey’s 200-acre farm.
“The Steve Ivey project gives us a nice boost to our portfolio,” said Kisber, who is the president and CEO of Silicon Ranch.
The company currently has about 15 megawatts of solar projects in the works throughout the Tennessee River Valley utility area.
The company has grown rapidly with all 15 megawatts of that solar coming into play within the two years since the company was created.
“We brought that same skill we used for economic development into this,” Kisber said.
The three partners started the business after Bredesen left office.
“Working in economic development, we saw where we had an opportunity to be at the front end of an emerging industry,” Kisber said.
While many solar developers are in the business of developing projects and selling them, Kisber said Silicon Ranch intends to hold onto its investments and collect the continuing revenues while growing the company.
Other large projects that Silicon Ranch is working on include 1.4 megawatts in a solar park in Pulaski, Tenn., another 1 megawatts in Memphis and 800 kilowatts planned for the top of a parking garage at a medical campus in Memphis.
The Steve Ivey project is, by far, the largest the company will undertake.
Kisber said he knew Ivey and had been talking with him about this opportunity for a few years before it materialized. It’s Silicon Ranch’s first project outside of Tennessee and marks the companies expansion, Kisber said.
“We’re very excited about this project,” Kisber said.
Silicon Ranch has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement for the electricity it generates with Georgia Power.
“We will be in a position to move forward,” Kisber said. “And a project this size shows that the southeast is not just a place for manufacturing solar panels, but allows the opportunity for deploying solar.”
Pictured: Reagan Farr (left) and Matt Kisber. Image courtesy of Nashville Business Journal.