State-of-the-art facility includes 20 MW of solar energy plus 80 MWh battery energy storage system to enhance energy independence and reliability for electric cooperative
McNEAL, Ariz. (October 9, 2023) — Silicon Ranch, one of the nation’s largest independent power producers and a community-focused renewable energy company, and Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative (SSVEC), a not-for-profit, member-owned distribution cooperative, today announced the completion of the 20-megawatt (MWAC) McNeal Solar Farm. The innovative project includes an 80 megawatt-hour (MWh) battery energy storage system (BESS), enabling SSVEC to meet increasing load demand and the power needs of more than 3,000 households across southeastern Arizona.
At a community ribbon-cutting event to celebrate completion of the project, SSVEC CEO, Jason Bowling said, “The McNeal solar and battery storage project allows SSVEC to increase the amount of affordable, renewable energy for our members, while supporting system reliability and promoting energy independence. As the largest electric cooperative in Arizona, providing our members with safe, reliable, and affordable power is our number one priority, and our new partnership with Silicon Ranch helps us deliver against this important mission to benefit our members and the communities we serve.”
Over the past few years, SSVEC has shifted most of its energy procurement from coal to natural gas, hydropower, and solar power. The completion of the McNeal solar-plus-storage facility is a significant step towards reliability, energy independence, and stable electricity prices. By working with Silicon Ranch, SSVEC has been able to expand its renewable energy portfolio thoughtfully and responsibly as it prepares to meet growing demand across its service territory. Moreover, by integrating 80 MWh of battery storage into the facility, SSVEC has more capacity to meet increasing load demand throughout the day and into the evening.
Silicon Ranch developed and funded the project and hired more than 140 craft workers to build the facility. The company will also serve as the long-term owner and operator, a disciplined approach Silicon Ranch takes with every project it develops. As both the landowner and operator, Silicon Ranch will remain invested in and committed to the continued success and economic viability of the surrounding community. The company invested more than $70 million to install the McNeal Solar Farm, and over the years to come, the project will generate significant new tax revenues for Cochise County to support local infrastructure and schools, among other community-identified priorities.
“At Silicon Ranch, our number one priority is to promote stronger, healthier, and more resilient communities through the work that we do, and this mission aligns perfectly with the ethos of America’s electric cooperatives,” said Reagan Farr, Co-Founder and CEO of Silicon Ranch. “We are honored to expand this important work with SSVEC as we celebrate the start of a new chapter in its 85-year history of service to southeastern Arizona. On behalf of our entire team, I also want to thank Cochise County for welcoming Silicon Ranch as its newest corporate citizen.”
In addition to 20 MWAC of solar and 80 MWh of BESS, the McNeal site also features a new substation, which replaces an existing facility serving SSVEC members in the area and includes the interconnection infrastructure for the solar-plus-storage project. These facilities interconnect the McNeal Solar Farm with the grid so that SSVEC can distribute the solar energy to homes and businesses across its system.
About Silicon Ranch
Founded in 2011, Silicon Ranch is a fully integrated provider of customized renewable energy, carbon, and battery storage solutions for a diverse set of partners across North America. The company is one of the largest independent power producers in the country, with a portfolio that includes more than five gigawatts of solar and battery storage systems that are contracted, under construction, or operating across the U.S. and Canada. Silicon Ranch owns and operates every project in its portfolio and has maintained an unblemished track record of project execution, having successfully commissioned every project it has contracted in its history. Silicon Ranch has the largest utility scale agrivoltaics portfolio in the country under Regenerative Energy® its nationally recognized holistic approach to project design, construction, and land management. This model incorporates regenerative ranching and other regenerative land management practices to restore livelihoods and soil health, biodiversity, and water quality. In 2021, Silicon Ranch acquired Clearloop, which helps businesses of all sizes reclaim their carbon footprint with a direct investment in building new solar projects while helping to bring renewable energy and economic development to distressed communities. To learn more, visit siliconranch.com and clearloop.us. Follow Silicon Ranch on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
About Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative
Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative is a not for profit, member-owned distribution cooperative providing electricity to more than 60,000 services over some 4,100 miles of energized line. Located in southeastern Arizona, the cooperative’s service territory covers parts of Cochise, Graham, Pima and Santa Cruz Counties and includes the communities of Sierra Vista, Huachuca City, Patagonia, Elfrida, Benson, St. David, Bowie, San Simon, Willcox, Sonoita and Pearce-Sunsites. As with any cooperative, member-driven entity, SSVEC is dedicated to community growth, quality of life, and a positive vision for the future. Our website offers detailed information about our services as well as a visit to the attractive, growing communities of which we are so proud.