Government Initiatives, Private Investments, and Collaborations to Accelerate New Solar Farm Projects
Many environmental issues have been arising day by day. The intensity of issues such as climate change has been increasing and urgent measures are required. Government authorities and private sector in various countries have been taking necessary measures to counter the issues like climate change. One of the major steps to reduce greenhouse emission and play a small part in tacking different environmental issues is to install solar farms. These farms fulfill electricity needs of local homes and business up to greater extent. Local government authorities have various green initiatives and joined hands with data centers, auto manufacturers, local power companies, and universities. Through collaboration, new solar farm projects have been launched and the development activities began.
Companies have been planning to avail renewable sources of energy to power their manufacturing facilities and play their part in addressing rise in environmental concerns. Major tech giants, whisky makers, and others have been inking new deals to gain power supply to their facilities that are situated nearby the plants. The utilization of renewable energy sources in the private sector will increase steadily as awareness regarding its benefits and contribution toward the safe future spreads across the world. New project announcements, commissioning new plants, and development of solar farms will continue in the next few years. According to the report published by Allied Market Research, the global solar farm market is expected to reach $261.0 billion by 2027. Following are some of the activities taking place across the world.
Companies have been inking new deals with solar farms to ensure major electricity needs for their manufacturing plants are met. Tech giants and multi-billion dollar companies have been signing new deals to make the most of renewable energy available. Tennessee Valley Authority plans to develop a solar-plus-storage project in Kentucky. Through its Green Invest initiative, the authority will build a solar farm that would provide nearly 145MW of solar power to Facebook’s regional data center operations in Nashville and 28 MW of power to Corvette Plant of General Motors in Bowling Green.
Urvi Parekh, the Head of Renewable Energy at Facebook, outlined that Green Invest program helps the company in supporting its operations with the help of solar energy. This facility will become the first renewable energy project in Kentucky and mark a significant milestone in its global portfolio. Facebook’s investment in the project would help in adding 120MWh of battery storage technology to improve the power grid resilience. TVA joined hands with the Warren Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation (RECC) for building the project with Silicon Ranch, a Nashville-based company. TVA inked a long-term deal with Silicon Ranch to build, operate, own, and maintain the entire facility.
Another giant company took steps toward reaping benefits of renewable energy and utilizing solar farms for powering its factory’s electricity requirements to some extent. One of the leading whiskey manufacturers Jack Daniel’s signed a long-term deal for utilization of solar farms from its facility in Tennessee. TVA inked a deal with Jack Daniel’s, Silicon Ranch, and Duck River Electric Membership Corporation to provide 20 MW of solar power to distillery. Melvin Keebler, the Vice President and Assistant General Manager of Jack Daniel’s outlined that this amount of power would serve nearly three-quarters of electricity needs of the distillery.
Along with signing new deals, many government authorities have announced their future plans and taken necessary steps toward them. Wokingham Borough Council in the U.K. submitted its plans to Barkham Farms into solar farm for serving nearly 7,000 homes and businesses. These farms are utilized for crops and cattle farming by farmers. Approximately 52 hectares of land will be transformed into a solar farm that will contain nearly 72,000 solar panels. During the operation, this plant is estimated to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide by nearly 94,000 tons. The council plans to utilize this land for the next 25 years only. The plan is one of the key aspects of reducing carbon emissions.
Rhian Hayes, the Interim Assistant Director for Housing and Place at Wokingham Borough Council, highlighted that generation of solar power will not only lower down greenhouse emissions but also supply power to local homes and businesses. Many residents showed strong support for the plans and emphasized on countering climate change. The focus has been on the generation of solar power locally and supply power through local electricity sub-stations.
Many projects have been proposed, however, many received green signal to begin development and operation. Adani Green Energy Ltd., a renewables developer from India, received a commission for a 50-MW solar farm in Chitrakoot, Uttar Pradesh. A 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) had been signed with the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) for INR 3.07 per kWh. As this plant becomes operational, it will raise the total capacity of operational renewable energy to 3,520 MW for Adani Green. The project is expected to serve power requirements and lower down carbon emissions to a greater extent.