Written by: Leonard Parker | solar news | April 29, 2021
Origis Energy is developing a 200-MW solar farm in Clay County, Miss., to support Knoxville, Tenn.’s renewable energy needs. Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB)’s investment in the project helped enable 50 MW of new battery storage technology that will increase power grid resiliency.
“We take our commitment of being good stewards of our environment seriously, and we are thrilled to work with TVA to put our community on the map for renewable energy,” said Gabriel Bolas, KUB president and CEO. “This endeavor benefits residential and business customers who can know that their daily lives include green energy resources, leading the way to a sustainable future.”
Last November, KUB announced that 20% of Knoxville’s electricity will be generated from renewable sources. KUB’s investment in more than 500 megawatts of solar will help Knoxville meet its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, compared with 2005 levels. In total, KUB will secure enough solar energy to power about 83,000 homes – a commitment that stands out on a national scale.
“Knoxville is serious about addressing climate change, and this investment by TVA and KUB positions us as a national leader. This partnership not only helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions – it gives our city a competitive advantage,” said Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon. “The solar power generated by this solar farm can fuel economic growth in Knoxville while creating jobs and opportunities for rural communities within the Tennessee Valley.”
Origis Energy will supply solar energy through a long-term power purchase agreement via TVA’s nationally recognized Green Invest program. Origis will develop, build, own and operate the plant using industry-leading land stewardship techniques. The project will create significant short- and long-term investments in the local community, including more than 250 peak construction jobs, with additional employment for three to five full-time operations and maintenance staff. Origis will complete the facility in late 2023, pending environmental reviews.
“This is our third utility-scale solar facility in Mississippi with TVA, and it demonstrates the success of Green Invest to connect local communities, private business and public power through renewable energy,” said Johan Vanhee, Origis Energy chief commercial officer and chief procurement officer. “We are excited to use TVA’s innovative program to contribute to economic activity in Clay County while helping the city of Knoxville achieve its carbon reduction goals.”