In Cookeville the newly constructed Highlands Solar Array is now up and running. This project has involved a lot of partnerships and discussion for over two years now.
It 2014, city officials met with Restoration Services Inc. to discuss the construction of a one megawatt solar array in the Highlands Business Park. The engineering, procurement and construction of the solar array were performed by Vis Solis with TVAEnergy as the primary subcontractor.
"As an environmental services firm, it's very important to our company and employees that we engage in sustainability initiatives," Paul Clay, president of Restoration Services Inc., said. "We're putting the power on the grid and we think it will be attractive to businesses as they look to relocate or locate here in Highlands Business Park."
This solar array will have to capacity to power 156 houses per year and the greenhouse gas offset for this project is equal to 222 vehicles per year. The project will sell electric power to the Tennessee Valley Authority through an interconnection with the Cookeville Electric Department. It has 2,506 solar modules at 325 to 330 watts per module.
"Our team is excited to bring another 1MW of clean solar power to the grid for Tennessee," Carlos Mayer, president and CEO of Vis Solis.
Due to the city's commitment to sustainability, the Highlands Business Park was named a Sustainable Business Park by the TVA Sustainable Communities Program, one of 28 designated communities in the seven state TVA service area. Barry Brown, president of Tennessee Valley Alternative Energy, said this gives companies option of investing in clean energy.
"Because this (solar array) is located in this business park, everyone wins. This is a good way to not only promote renewable energy but economic development," Brown said.