The 5-megawatt West Tennessee Solar Farm is one of the largest solar-generating facilities in the Southeast. It educates the public about solar energy, including the past, present and future of solar within the state. The Solar Farm encourages renewable energy interest and investments across Tennessee and the region, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing renewable energy generation and creating jobs.
More than 25 acres contain a solar array of approximately 21,000 fixed-tilt, ground-mounted photovoltaic solar panels. Electricity generated is distributed through purchase agreements with local utility Chickasaw Electric Cooperative and Tennessee Valley Authority.
Visit SPECTRUM for information on solar energy and for a glimpse of the educational exhibit based at the Welcome and Information Center, opening soon.
The West Tennessee Solar Farm and the Tennessee Solar Institute were made possible by a $62.5-million allocation of federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development in 2009. The Volunteer State Solar Initiative is a comprehensive solar energy and economic development program focused on job creation, education, renewable power production and technology commercialization.
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development contracted with the University of Tennessee to oversee creation and operation of the Solar Farm. Through the UT Research Foundation, the University is responsible for installation and operation of the power-generation facility. Signal Energy, LLC of Chattanooga, Tennessee designed and built the Solar Farm array in 2011, with connection to the electrical grid in early 2012.