Silicon Ranch Corporation recently reached agreement with Volkswagen Group of America's Chattanooga, Tennessee Operations to install, own and operate the Volkswagen Chattanooga Solar Park, a 9.5 megawatt photovoltaic solar system that supplies 13.5 gigawatts hours of electricity annually to VW’s assembly plant. The plant is the first and only LEED® Platinum automotive manufacturing plant in the world to be LEED® Platinum certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Silicon Ranch Corporation ("Silicon Ranch") develops and operates commercial and large scale solar facilities. Silicon Ranch is distinguished from other developers by its ability to deliver a green energy solution that addresses the environmental, business and work force issues associated with successfully expanding solar capacity and green jobs. Silicon Ranch has gained prominence as a low cost producer of solar energy by focusing on creating efficiencies through every step of the deployment process thereby increasing capital investments in clean energy.
Why Silicon Ranch Corporation?When Silicon Ranch's senior leadership began researching business development opportunities in the clean energy space, a recurring theme was raised by business owners, power consumers and policy experts — there is no comprehensive strategy to systematically expand solar capacity throughout the United States. The problem is even more pronounced in rural and economically distressed areas, where the solar industry is in its early stages and a significant shortage of workers with applicable skills and knowledge of industry best practices has become a barrier to growth.
Business owners consistently state that they are under pressure to reduce energy costs, explore energy saving technology and to create roadmaps for becoming a "green" enterprise. From sole proprietors to corporate executives, these business leaders expressed frustration that there is not an easy, cost-effective way to incorporate clean, renewable solar power into their company's energy mix.
Silicon Ranch eliminates all these barriers with a simple turn-key solution. The firm will develop and operate utility-scale solar production facilities configured to allow companies to lease production units with no capital commitment. The ability to lease solar production capacity instead of purchasing solar arrays addresses the main concerns expressed by business owners as a reason for not expanding consumption of renewable energy.
The market opportunity is substantial.The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates the U.S. market for clean energy through 2030 will be between $14 billion and $20 billion dollars. This growth trajectory will place clean energy on the same level of investment as construction machinery, farm machinery and household appliances. Globally, while the world recession has had a dampening impact on worldwide venture capital spending on clean technology projects, global VC spending on clean tech has averaged $6.75 billion annually for the last two years.
Into this market environment, Silicon Ranch will bring a unique series of assets to the table, including corporate management experience, ability to assess and take advantage of state and federal incentive programs, strong skills in strategic execution, an excellent track record of financial management, significant business development skills for the government market, the venture community and the solar industry and a longstanding reputation for being able to put projects together which carry benefits for all partners.
Advantages of SolarEconomic Advantages of Solar
- Solar arrays can be permitted and installed faster than traditional energy options.
- Predictable energy generation curve.
- Highest efficiency when power demand and utility rates are at their peak.
- Reduces need for expensive, high voltage transmission lines or complex transmission infrastructure by generating energy on-site, close to point of consumption.
- Fixed, photovoltaic systems are more reliable and last longer than other forms of energy, with no moving parts.
- Photovoltaic systems are clean, quiet and unobtrusive, with no emissions, noise or negative impact on surrounding neighborhoods.
- Little or no water usage in production of electricity.
- Unlimited options for placement. Any location with sunlight can become a power generator.
- Can offset the need for construction of "peaker" power plants (which are generally fossil-based "back up" plants, turned on when demand for electricity is highest) which reduces pollution, expense and increases power efficiency.
- Creates clean, renewable energy in a way that reduces negative impact on the health of individuals as well as the environment.
- Moves the region towards a distributed generation model which mitigates the impact of disruption of the grid during a national emergency.
- Supports national energy independence.
- Expands the skills of workers in underserved communities, supplying marketable knowledge and a path toward rewarding employment. Solar energy creates more jobs per megawatt hour generated than any other form of energy.