MILLINGTON, TN (WMC) - For Earth Day, leaders at the Millington Naval base hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction of a solar panel facility.
When completed, that facility will be the largest solar panel facility in Tennessee.
"We're excited about it because there are a lot of industries that look for renewal energy sites, and now we'll have one of the largest in the state of Tennessee," Millington Mayor Terry Jones said.
Silicon Ranch Corporation, in partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority, will develop the solar facility with a capacity of more than 68 megawatts of direct power.
"We're going to be providing clean renewal energy to about 7,500 homes in this area," Silicon Ranch Corporation CEO Matt Kisber said.
"We've got quite a bit going on in West Tennessee with the New Allen gas plan as well as this solar facility, and they all fit nicely into our portfolio of diverse energy supply for the region," TVA executive vice president Van Wardlaw said.
The plant's solar panels will take up more than 400 acres in Millington, and they will rotate to follow the sun for maximum energy production.
With an investment of $100 million, Silicon Ranch Corporation expects their return on investment will produce enough energy to provide power to TVA customers at cost competitive rates for the next twenty years.
"This project is extremely significant, not just to Millington and Shelby County, but to the entire state and the southeast region of the United States," Kisber said.
The solar facility construction will continue over the next two years.