Google, TVA, Origis Energy, and Excelsior Energy Capital celebrate completion of 100 MW Skyhawk Solar project in Obion County, TN
KNOXVILLE, Tenn., MIAMI, Fla., and EXCELSIOR, Minn. – April 25, 2023 – Today representatives from Google, The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Origis Energy and Excelsior Energy Capital celebrated the completion of Skyhawk Solar, a 100 MW (MWac) project located in Obion County, TN. Skyhawk Solar is a utility-scale solar project in Tennessee now supplying carbon-free energy (CFE) to Google’s data centers in Montgomery County, Tennessee, and Jackson County, Alabama.
Lawmakers, community members and other project stakeholders joined the “Flip the Switch” celebration held on the project site near the Everett – Stewart Regional Airport.
“Skyhawk demonstrates what is possible when we come together with a shared vision to use low cost, clean, reliable, renewable energy to drive jobs and investments into the communities we serve,” said Doug Perry, Senior Vice President TVA Commercial Energy Solutions. “Together with our partners, we are building the nation’s most advanced energy system to help us meet our decarbonization and energy security goals.”
Origis Energy developed and constructed the project under a strategic alliance with TVA, utilizing a proven development model which emphasizes respectful community engagement and a mission to ensure projects benefit the local regions in which they are constructed.
“Origis is proud to be part of Skyhawk Solar, a clean energy project helping to fulfill TVA and Google decarbonization goals while contributing significant economic benefits to local communities for decades to come,” said Johan Vanhee, Chief Commercial and Procurement Office, Origis Energy. “With expert analysis, we estimate the project to have brought $23 million in local community based economic benefits during construction. It will provide an estimated $31 million in local economic benefits during the life of the project. These funds include millions of dollars in property taxes, benefiting Obion County and its residents with support for government services and the area school system.”
Excelsior provided financing and is the project owner, providing clean energy from the solar plant through a long-term Power Purchase Agreement. The Skyhawk Solar capacity contributes to advancing Google’s goal of operating on 24/7 carbon-free energy by 2030.
“Excelsior Energy Capital is very pleased to be the owner of the Skyhawk project and to help Google and TVA achieve their respective objectives,” said Chris Moakley, Managing Partner at Excelsior Energy Capital. “Excelsior Energy Capital values the opportunity to partner with Google and TVA, create jobs and economic benefits to the local economy, and in the process deliver a great investment for our limited partners.”
To power its data center campuses in Southeastern U.S., Google has purchased 413 megawatts of power generated by multiple solar farms within the TVA territory.
The impact of the renewable energy purchase program has also resulted in repurposing a retired fossil fuel plant. One of the Google data centers powered by Skyhawk Solar is located on TVA’s Widows Creek retired coal plant site in North Alabama. Widows Creek served the TVA ratepayers for over seven decades. The Google facility is believed to be the first data center to be located on a repurposed coal generation site, a powerful example of workforce and local economic development benefits resulting from the transition to American generated clean energy.
“This Skyhawk Solar project is critical in our progress towards Google’s 24/7 carbon-free energy goal in Tennessee and Alabama,” says Thomas Gamble, Data Center Facilities Manager at Google. “We are grateful for the partnership with TVA, Excelsior and Origis and look forward to continued effort to expand clean energy and decarbonize electricity grids in the communities we call home.”
This year, nearly 60% of TVA’s electricity is from carbon-free generation. To meet the region’s renewable energy needs and lower Valley carbon, TVA plans to add 10,000 megawatts of solar by 2035.
Origis provided construction oversite, contracting with Wanzek Construction, Inc., to construct the facility. The project was built with American technology, utilizing 287,280 First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) solar panels. Designed and developed at their R&D labs in California and Ohio, First Solar’s advanced thin film PV modules set industry benchmarks for quality, durability, reliability, design, and environmental performance. Skyhawk Solar will be operated and maintained by Origis Services.
Project information is available here: https://origisenergy.com/projects/tn-solar-1-skyhawk-solar/
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving nearly 10 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system, and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.
Origis Energy is bringing clean and cost effective solar, energy storage and clean hydrogen solutions within reach for utility, commercial and industrial as well as public sector clients. The Origis team has worked to ensure the interests of all stakeholders are upheld in 170 projects worldwide totaling more than 5 GW to date of developed solar, energy storage and clean hydrogen capacity. Headquartered in Miami, FL, Origis Energy delivers excellence in solar, energy storage and clean hydrogen development, financing, engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) and operations, maintenance and asset management for investors and clean energy consumers in the U.S. For more information visit: www.OrigisEnergy.com
Excelsior Energy Capital is a pure-play renewable energy infrastructure fund focused on long-term investments in wind and solar power plants in North America. The Excelsior management team brings over 70 years of combined experience and a comprehensive set of strategic, financial, legal and operational expertise, making Excelsior Energy Capital a valuable partner for developers and operators, and a trusted manager for investors. For more information visit: www.excelsiorcapital.com.
Tennessee Valley Authority
Chattanooga, 901 414 6964
TVA Public Relations, Knoxville, 865-632-6000
M: +1 786 893 2760
Excelsior Energy Capital
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