Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives announced that it has been awarded a 50-MWAC solar contract to construct the Turkey Creek Solar Ranch in Garrard County, Kentucky. Nashville-based Silicon Ranch Corporation, one of the nation’s largest independent solar power producers, awarded the engineering, procurement, and construction contract to IEA Constructors, a subsidiary of IEA that manages utility-scale energy and heavy civil infrastructure projects.
The Turkey Creek Solar Ranch is the first utility-scale solar project to receive approval from the Kentucky Public Service Commission Siting Board. Silicon Ranch is making a significant investment in Garrard County to fund the Turkey Creek project and will own and operate the solar array long-term. Construction is scheduled to begin in December 2021 and is expected to be completed by November 2022. IEA’s scope of work includes the installation of owner-furnished First Solar modules and full balance of system EPC construction, including civil, mechanical and electrical work.
Silicon Ranch will keep the land housing the Turkey Creek Solar Ranch in agricultural production post-construction through managed sheep grazing and other regenerative pastureland management practices under its Regenerative Energy platform. Through these regenerative agriculture practices, Silicon Ranch will restore the land to a functioning grassland ecosystem and deliver additional benefits to the region, such as carbon sequestration, restored soil health, improved water quality and enhanced biodiversity. The company is already pioneering regenerative design and pre-construction practices at the site.
Garrard County sits on the edge of an economically distressed region that ranks among the poorest 10% of counties in the nation. The Turkey Creek Solar Ranch will provide meaningful economic benefits to the local community and surrounding region through the injection of capital, critical tax revenues, new wages and other indirect and induced impacts throughout the life of the project. According to SEIA, the Turkey Creek Solar Ranch will also nearly double the amount of solar megawatts installed in Kentucky.
“Kentucky’s new energy strategy, KYE3, emphasizes community-based opportunities where energy, environment and economic development converge,” said Kentucky Office of Energy Policy Director Kenya Stump. “Silicon Ranch’s Turkey Creek project is an example of KYE3 strategy in action where energy production is working with the land and providing benefits to the community and the environment.”
To construct the project for Silicon Ranch, IEA will hire approximately 250 craft workers, the majority of whom will be recruited locally from Garrard 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.
“IEA is proud to work again with Silicon Ranch to expand solar capacity in the United States,” said Joe Broom, IEA’s senior VP of solar construction operations. “The Turkey Creek Solar Ranch will put Kentucky on the domestic map for solar and help bring additional renewable sources to the state.”
News item from Silicon Ranch