Solar plant scheduled to begin generating power
Posted: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 9:07 pm
JACKSON (AP) — The largest solar electrical generation plant within the seven-state Tennessee Valley Authority is now in Jackson and is scheduled to begin generating electricity this week.
The 5.5-acre solar farm is located at 96 American Drive, on the north side of Flex Drive across from the north entrance of Procter & Gamble.
The solar farm is divided into two sections. One will supply electricity directly to the TVA. The other will supply electricity to an adjoining warehouse and plant, once the home of American Olean and Dal-Tile. The plant is now owned by Jackson Industrial Holdings, a subsidiary of New York-based Meridian Development Partners, said Michael Katz, managing director. This is the company’s first venture into solar electric generation for individual buildings and power grids.
“Lessons from here will be used on other properties,” he said.
Those lessons will help Meridian and other companies turn abandoned warehouses into fully or partially self-sustainable warehouses, giving new life to thousands of abandoned properties throughout the nation, he said.
“The overabundance of vacant industrial property in this country is huge,” said Katz, whose company specializes in purchasing and rehabilitating industrial property. “Doing this will help rejuvenate them for new uses the former (owners) did not see.”
The first section of the solar farm contains 4,704 Sharp solar panels manufactured in Memphis, said Robbie Thomas, president of Efficient Energy of Tennessee, which is installing the electrical generation farm. Each of the panels is capable of generating 224 watts that can produce a total of 1,000 kilowatt hours of direct current power hourly, he said. These panels are connected to the TVA grid through power lines provided by Jackson Energy Authority.
Published in The Messenger 1.19.11