In partnership with Ouachita Electric Cooperative Corporation (OECC), Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC), Highland Industrial Park, SAU Tech, and Aerojet Rocketdyne, Silicon Ranch’s development of the Aerojet Rocketdyne Solar Farm was a first-of-its-kind solution in providing solar power to a large industrial customer while diversifying the state’s energy mix and infusing capital into an underserved community.
Under a unique Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), Silicon Ranch is the owner and operator of the solar facility, while the primary off taker is Aerojet Rocketdyne. Any excess generation is purchased by Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC), which provides wholesale power to 17 electric distribution cooperatives, including the Ouachita Electric Cooperative Corporation (OECC), the utilities provider for Aerojet Rocketdyne in East Camden.
“We crafted a solution to help Aerojet achieve its goals and tailored that solution in a manner that would also work for the distributor and [AECC],” said Reagan Farr, vice chairman and chief operating officer of Silicon Ranch. “The result was the largest operating solar farm in Arkansas.”The 100-acre, 12-megawatt (AC) solar farm — located in Highland Industrial Park — is currently the largest operating solar farm in Arkansas.
The 76-acre solar farm was completed in December 2015 and will generate more than 30 million kilowatt-hours annually, reducing carbon emissions by 21,000 metric tons. That is enough electricity to power 2,863 homes and equates to taking 4,383 cars off the highway.
This landmark project is now scheduled to be awarded the Novogradac Renewable Energy Power Award for Financial Innovation. Silicon Ranch was the awardee in the Financial Innovation category for it development of the Aerojet Rocketdyne Solar Farm in East Camden, Arkansas.