The Department of Economic and Community Development has contracted with the University of Tennessee to oversee planning, operation and management of the West Tennessee Solar Farm. The farm will consist of over 20,000 high efficiency silicon-based photovoltaic modules in a five MW configuration, expected to produce more than 7,000 MW hours of electricity annually. Installation of the solar modules is expected to begin this October, with completion the following spring.
The West Tennessee Solar Farm is a significant step forward for the development of the clean energy industry in Tennessee, said Governor Phil Bredesen. Through the Volunteer State Solar Initiative we are supporting the manufacturing and installation sectors of the solar industry and creating new jobs and opportunities for Tennesseans. In the long run we are strengthening Tennessees reputation as a national clean energy leader and solar power hub.
Millions of Americans traveling I-40 each year will pass by the West Tennessee Solar Farm, added Matt Kisber, commissioner, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. By demonstrating the zero-carbon production of electricity on a highly visible and significant scale, the Solar Farm highlights Tennessees commitment to supporting the solar industry and will encourage future renewable-energy interest and investments here in Tennessee.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation will also build an education and welcome center at the Solar Farm, which will serve as an educational facility for the public and students to learn about renewable energy. The Solar Farm will utilize commercially available power generation technology, but may also test new technology under real world conditions.