Silicon Ranch announced that it has begun implementing Regenerative Energy at the Millington Solar Farm, the largest operating solar facility in the state of Tennessee. Regenerative EnergyTM is Silicon Ranch’s transformative, outcome-driven program that co-locates clean electricity generation and regenerative agriculture to manage vegetation, restore ecosystems and biodiversity, sequester carbon, and improve water quality, while keeping land in agricultural production.
In partnership with Cabriejo Ranch, a Savory Institute hub, Silicon Ranch launched holistic planned grazing, a key component of Regenerative EnergyTM, at the Millington Solar Farm with the release of over 1,000 ewes. Cabriejo Ranch currently supports Silicon Ranch’s Regenerative EnergyTM platform on more than 1,500 acres in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas, and the partnership’s portfolio is expected to grow by an additional 600 acres by the end of 2020.
“We’re already seeing exciting positive outcomes from the regenerative practices my family and I deployed on Silicon Ranch solar farms last year, including a significant, and measurable, increase in beneficial biodiversity,” said Cabriejo Ranch owner Trent Hendricks. “Having the opportunity to do more of the restorative work that we love to do here in Millington, that enables us to produce more high quality, nutrient dense, local food, on land that is also producing clean, renewable energy, is phenomenal, and we’re honored to partner with such a visionary leader like Silicon Ranch.”
The 53 megawatt (MWAC) solar project is the result of a unique public-private partnership that brought together the City of Millington, the U.S. Navy, Memphis, Light, Gas and Water (MLGW), Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), and Silicon Ranch with a shared vision to support the local community and the Naval Support Activity (NSA) Mid-South. The facility is located on 348 acres of private land Silicon Ranch purchased from the Millington Industrial Development Board and on 72 acres it leases from the U.S. Navy.
Silicon Ranch owns, operates, and maintains the Millington Solar Farm, which provides reliable, resilient power to the NSA Mid-South and TVA at cost-competitive rates for the next twenty years. By introducing Regenerative EnergyTM practices to the site, the project further supports TVA’s mission to provide clean, reliable, and affordable electricity and to uphold its commitment to environmental stewardship.
“Solar energy is becoming a larger part of TVA’s future, and we are excited to partner with Silicon Ranch as they enable their solar farms to generate more than clean energy,” said Doug Perry, TVA Vice President of Commercial Energy Solutions.
As the largest developer, owner, and operator of solar facilities in the Tennessee Valley and one of the largest independent solar energy producers in the nation, Silicon Ranch is in the process of replicating the Regenerative EnergyTM platform, which it pioneered, at other facilities across the country. The company has codified a rigorous set of standards for Regenerative EnergyTM, with a goal of expanding implementation of the concept to maximize its potential across more land under management by the solar industry.
“At Silicon Ranch we’re excited for this latest demonstration of how we add value for our partners and for the communities we serve,” said Matt Beasley, Chief Commercial Officer at Silicon Ranch. “We’re especially eager to continue refining this innovative platform in our home state of Tennessee, where agriculture has long been an essential part of the local economy and cultural identity.”
In less than two years, Regenerative EnergyTM has scaled from a 50-acre pilot to a 2,500-acre program, including the only solar energy projects located on land that has been verified as ‘regenerative’ by the Savory Institute. The replicable platform is anticipated to grow to more than 6,000 acres by the end of 2020.
“The fundamental principle of our Regenerative EnergyTM platform is that we recognize our land as a valuable natural resource that we can harness to sequester carbon and restore biodiversity,” said Michael Baute, Silicon Ranch’s Director of Regenerative EnergyTM and Land Management. “Silicon Ranch is thrilled to work with expert partners such as Cabriejo Ranch as we take responsibility for our land footprint and align with the global regenerative movement.”
The Regenerative EnergyTM platform accelerates the adoption of regenerative agriculture practices and helps meet the need for decentralized and more resilient energy and food systems.
About Regenerative Energy
Regenerative EnergyTM was established by Silicon Ranch Corporation in 2018 as a transformative new model for the solar industry to improve the way the solar industry manages its land and positively impact millions of acres over time. By building and operating solar power plants and caring for land in alignment with natural systems, Regenerative EnergyTM delivers clean energy, ecosystem restoration, carbon sequestration, and beneficial rural economic impacts. Regenerative EnergyTM is a holistic approach to land management on solar farms that provides a nature-based solution to climate change.
About Silicon Ranch
Silicon Ranch is the U.S. solar platform for Shell and one of the largest independent solar power producers in the country. Silicon Ranch’s work with a diverse set of customers across the country, including Fortune 500 companies and electric cooperatives, demonstrates its ability to customize solutions that ensure successful outcomes. The company’s operating portfolio includes more than 135 facilities across 14 states from New York to California, including the first large-scale solar projects in Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas, and Mississippi.