PVTIME – Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives, Inc. (NASDAQ: IEA) (“IEA”), a leading infrastructure construction company with renewable energy and specialty civil expertise, announced on November 16 that it has been awarded a 50-megawatt (MWAC) solar contract to construct the Turkey Creek Solar Ranch in Garrard County, Kentucky. Nashville-based Silicon Ranch Corporation, one of the nation’s largest independent solar power producers, awarded the engineering, procurement, and construction (“EPC”) contract to IEA Constructors, a subsidiary of IEA that manages utility-scale energy and heavy civil infrastructure projects.
The Turkey Creek Solar Ranch is the first utility-scale solar project to receive approval from the Kentucky Public Service Commission Siting Board. Silicon Ranch is making a significant investment in Garrard County to fund the Turkey Creek project and will own and operate the solar array for the long-term, a disciplined approach the company takes with every project it develops. Construction is scheduled to begin in December 2021 and is expected to be completed by November 2022. IEA’s scope of work includes the installation of owner furnished First Solar modules and full balance of system EPC construction, including civil, mechanical, and electrical work.
Silicon Ranch will keep the land housing the Turkey Creek Solar Ranch in agricultural production post-construction through managed sheep grazing and other regenerative pastureland management practices under its Regenerative Energy® platform. Through these regenerative agriculture practices, Silicon Ranch will restore the land to a functioning grassland ecosystem and deliver additional benefits to the region, such as carbon sequestration, restored soil health, improved water quality, and enhanced biodiversity. The company is already pioneering regenerative design and pre-construction practices at the site.
Garrard County sits on the edge of an economically distressed region that ranks among the poorest 10% of counties in the nation. The Turkey Creek Solar Ranch will provide meaningful economic benefits to the local community and surrounding region through the injection of capital, critical tax revenues, new wages, and other indirect and induced impacts throughout the life of the project. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the Turkey Creek Solar Ranch will also nearly double the amount of solar megawatts installed in Kentucky.
To construct the project for Silicon Ranch, IEA will hire approximately 250 craft workers, the majority of whom will be recruited locally from Garrard County, the surrounding area, and the military veteran community. The project will hire for positions ranging from entry level to experienced, and IEA will provide workers seeking utility-scale solar construction experience with on-site training in tracker assembly, wire harnessing and module installation. Those interested in working on the Turkey Creek Solar Ranch can apply online at https://careers.iea.net/, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“IEA is proud to work again with Silicon Ranch to expand solar capacity in the United States,” said Joe Broom, IEA’s Senior Vice President of Solar Construction Operations. “The Turkey Creek Solar Ranch will put Kentucky on the domestic map for solar and help bring additional renewable sources to the state.”
“All of us at Silicon Ranch are grateful to our partners for enabling us to bring quality jobs, workforce development, and an innovative solar project that keeps land in agricultural production to rural eastern Kentucky,” said Silicon Ranch Co-Founder and CEO, Reagan Farr. “We recognize Kentucky’s strong agricultural heritage and are committed to designing, building, and operating the Turkey Creek Solar Ranch in a way that continues this legacy in partnership with the ag community. We are pleased to team up again with IEA to carry out the construction of this project with a focus on maximizing its positive impact for the local community and surrounding area.”
“Kentucky’s new energy strategy, KYE3, emphasizes community-based opportunities where energy, environment and economic development converge,” said Kentucky Office of Energy Policy Director, Kenya Stump. “Silicon Ranch’s Turkey Creek project is an example of KYE3 strategy in action where energy production is working with the land and providing benefits to the community and the environment.”
Since 2010, IEA has constructed more than a gigawatt of solar farms across the United States and Canada. IEA was ranked #8 for solar construction revenues combined amongst Engineering News-Record’s 2021 Top 400 Contractors. For more information on IEA’s ENR rankings please visit enr.com.