Silicon Ranch's Georgia project grows by almost 30%

Bredesen-Kisber venture secured construction financing last month

The partnership between Silicon Ranch, the solar energy venture co-founded by former Gov. Phil Bredesen and his ECD commissioner Matt Kisber, is moving forward with its largest project, a Georgia solar farm that has grown by almost 30 percent in recent months.

Silicon Ranch and partner Phoenix Solar U.S., a unit of a German company, on Monday said they expect to complete the 38.6 megawatt Simon Solar Farm located east of Atlanta by the end of this year. The land for the project has been owned since the 1930s by the family of Nashville songwriter and music business executive Steve Ivey.

The plant's capacity is up from 30 megawatts late last year and almost double the size when it was first announced in early 2012. Silicon Ranch last month secured construction financing from Macquarie Group for the project, which Kisber told Bloomberg News will cost a $85 million.

"Silicon Ranch is proud to be building the largest solar development in Georgia and we look forward to producing clean, renewable electricity at this facility before the end of this year," Kisber, president and CEO of Silicon Ranch, said in the statement. "The strategic partnership with Phoenix Solar has allowed us to accelerate the timetable for bringing this project on line this year."

The Simon Solar Farm project is Silicon Ranch's largest. The company also has developed arrays at several sites in Nashville as well as at Volkswagen's plant in Chattanooga and in Pulaski.