Phoenix Solar Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Phoenix Solar AG, has signed a contract with Silicon Ranch Corporation to build a 38.6 megawatt solar power plant called Simon Solar Farm in Georgia. Upon completion, the installation will be the largest utility-scale solar power facility in the state and the largest solar installation in the 14-year history of Phoenix Solar.
Construction, which has already begun at Simon Solar Farm outside Atlanta, is scheduled for completion by the end of 2013. Simon Solar Farm is expected to generate enough renewable energy every year to charge a fleet of 10,000 electric vehicles with enough electricity for each to be driven 20,000 miles.
Under the terms of the contract, Phoenix Solar Inc. will provide all engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services to Silicon Ranch to realize the ground-mount solar park on 161 acres at the Simon Solar Farm, about 30 miles east of Atlanta, the state capital. Phoenix Solar will also provide long-term operations and maintenance (O&M) support for the solar park. Silicon Ranch closed its construction financing facility last month.
The high-profile solar project further demonstrates Phoenix Solar's commitment to move its operational focus to high-growth regions, including the U.S. and Asia.
Georgia Power, the state's largest electrical utility, has agreed to buy the electricity generated from the solar park under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Silicon Ranch. Silicon Ranch procured the first large scale solar PPA in December 2011 as part of the 50 megawatt solar purchase authorized by the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC). Following the success of this initial solar procurement initiative, Georgia Power has since created the "Advanced Solar Initiative", a voluntary program initiated in 2012 aimed at purchasing 210 megawatts of additional solar generating capacity.
Phoenix Solar is deploying modules from JA Solar at the solar park, and will utilize SMA inverters and Unirac mounting systems. Site work has already begun at Simon Solar Farm, which was a cotton farm several decades ago.
The Simon Solar Farm is yet another example of the strategic partnership between Silicon Ranch and Phoenix Solar that has resulted in the construction of several solar power facilities in the Southeast, including the largest solar installation at a U.S. auto plant, namely the LEED Platinum-certified Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee.