VW eyeing largest solar park in state


Construction is to start soon on a solar park estimated to cost about $30 million that will supply a big chunk of power to Chattanooga’s Volkswagen plant.

The solar park, believed to be the state’s biggest at 9.5 megawatts, will go on a tract adjacent to the factory, said Patrik Mayer, executive vice president of finance and information technology for VW in Chattanooga. Mayer said Phoenix Solar and Silicon Ranch offered the best proposal of several that VW reviewed. He projected that similar-sized solar parks cost about $30 million, and plans are to pay Silicon Ranch a fixed price per kilowatt hour to run it, he said.

The power generated by the solar park will go to the plant and not onto the EPB or TVA grids, “It goes directly into VW,” Mayer said.
Chris Davis, a spokesperson for the Tennessee Solar Institute, said the solar park “is very large for Tennessee. It’s one of the bigger ones in the Southeast.”

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