Silicon Ranch, whose largest shareholder is international energy giant Royal Dutch Shell plc, is to invest $55 million set up its latest solar farm in Houston County.
The 68-megawatt project will create 300 jobs during the construction phase and will power 11,000 homes when fully operational.
Nashville, Tenn.-based Silicon Ranch will sell the power to Tucker-based Green Power EMC, which has lined up agreements with 30 electrical membership corporations.
Run by a team including CEO Matt Kisber, the former commissioner of economic development for Tennessee, Silicon Ranch aims to create opportunities in the rural Southeast U.S.
One of its previous deal in the state included the 1,200-acre Bancroft Station solar farm in southwest Georgia’s Early County, powered by 355,000 panels made in Dalton by Korean investor Hanwha Q CELLS. Opening last December, the project powers a Facebook data center in Newton County, and some of the acreage is now being used as pasture land, with sheep grazing among the solar panels. It’s unclear from a news release where the panels will be sourced for the Houston County development. (Learn more and watch a video about the Early County project here)
The deal could also have broader ramifications for Georgia’s investment recruitment efforts, as investors coming into the state are increasingly seeking clean sources of power.
“Many of the world’s largest businesses are making the availability of renewable energy a key factor in their location decisions,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson in a release. “The commitment by Silicon Ranch and Georgia’s EMCs underscores that we are ready to meet the business requirements of the modern economy.”
Silicon Ranch’s shareholders also include Canada’s TD Greystone Asset Managment, which is based in Regina, Saskatchewan, with additional offices in Toronto, Winnipeg and Hong Kong.
See the full news release here.