Frequently Asked Questions About The Logan County Solar Project
Over 25k homes per year
12 to 18 months, depending on weather
General Project Questions
TVA’s Green Invest program matches businesses wishing to invest in the Tennessee Valley with developers who wish to meet that demand through a competitive RFP process. This project was awarded based on the low cost of delivering energy to TVA and Silicon Ranch’s long-standing reputation of delivering 100% of its contracted projects and its commitment to the communities it serves.
The site is a great location for a utility scale solar project. It is situated adjacent to existing TVA infrastructure that minimizes the need for clearing.
Silicon Ranch expects to invest more than $200 million to construct the facility. The project requires no capital investment from the community or the utility.
The project will serve TVA’s Green Invest program, which is an important component of the region’s economic development strategy. Capital investment will generate new tax revenues for the local government and school system, while requiring little to no county services in return. In other words, the taxes generated from the project are entirely accretive to the tax base.
Silicon Ranch maintains a commitment to own and operate every project in its portfolio for the long term. In the ten-year history of the company, Silicon Ranch has never sold a project, which means Logan County can be confident that Silicon Ranch will stand behind the performance of the project day in and day out.
It is a common misconception that ground-mounted solar farms decrease nearby property values.
- Examining property value in states across the United States demonstrates that large-scale solar arrays have no measurable impact on the value of adjacent properties, and in some cases may even have positive effects.
- Proximity to solar farms does not deter the sales of agricultural or residential land.
- Large solar projects have similar characteristics to a greenhouse or single-story residence. Usually no more than 10 feet high, solar farms are often enclosed by fencing and/or landscaping to minimize visual impacts.
 Solar Energy Industries Association® (PDF)
Solar PV panels are made of tempered glass and pass rigorous hail and other weather testing. The two most common types of solar panels—silicon-based and thin film—are both required to pass the Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Leaching Characteristic Procedure (TCLP) test, meaning that these panels are nonhazardous.
Exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) is a part of normal life from the appliances used in our homes, cell phones we use, and electrical lines in our neighborhoods. At the perimeter fencing of a solar project, the EMF exposure is far lower than that found inside a typical home.
As a safety feature, a 6’ tall chain link fence with barbed wire will surround the solar facility.
This will depend on the time of day, but generally, no more than 10’ high. The panels will rotate to follow the sun throughout the day. At the beginning and end of the day, the solar panels will be at their highest as they will be angled 60 degrees. Around lunchtime, the panels will be at their lowest.
The project will interconnect to an existing 161kV TVA transmission line located on the property.
It is anticipated that more than 450 construction jobs will be created, and Silicon Ranch maintains a strong preference for hiring locally.
We always prefer to hire qualified, local firms when possible and have a strong track record of hiring locally.
Please go to the Contact Us page and fill out the Contact form, and a project representative will reach out with more details on available work and the timing of proposals.
There will be construction traffic, including 18-wheelers delivering supplies during the installation. Silicon Ranch will implement a traffic management plan. Access to the site will be from Watermelon Road (Hwy 1041) and J Montgomery Road. Once operational, however, the site receives very little traffic.
There is noise during the temporary construction period—notably from two sources (i) construction traffic and (ii) during the pile driving process. Silicon Ranch seeks to minimize any disruption by performing work during normal business hours. Once operational, the site does not generate any noise.
The project will utilize polysilicon or thin film modules and a single-axis tracker system. With a single axis tracker, the rows are arranged north-south, and the modules track east to west throughout the day, keeping the solar panels facing the sun to maximize energy production.
The modules produce direct current (DC) power that flows to an inverter (about the size of a 20’ shipping container) where the power is converted to alternating current (AC) before passing through a transformer and being delivered to the TVA transmission system to serve homes and businesses.
Once operational, the site is remotely monitored and rarely visited except for periodic and routine maintenance. This is usually accomplished with 1-2 pick-up trucks or vans, depending on the crew.
Yes, the project will follow and adhere to all local, state, and federal regulations including fencing, electric codes, and signage. Additionally, the project will be monitored 24/7 so that any disturbance to the system can be quickly and safely acted upon.
Once operational, the site does not generate any noise. The inverters have a quiet hum, not unlike that heard from a residential transformer. Given the project size and location of the inverters within the fenced array, this will be imperceptible.
While most of the jobs created are related to the construction of the facility, it is anticipated that additional jobs for ongoing maintenance will be created.
As part of the TVA environmental review process, Silicon Ranch will analyze the potential for glare with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Based on significant prior experience, glare is not expected.
Solar modules are designed to absorb (rather than reflect) as much light as possible and are covered with a protective layer of anti-reflective matte glass.
Rather than viewing the land housing our solar power plants as an operations cost center—a liability—we recognize that land and vegetation are valuable natural resources and biological assets. When land and vegetation are managed properly, and in alignment with natural systems, we can revitalize soils, restore grassland ecosystems, increase biodiversity, sequester carbon, and improve water quality, all while keeping the land in agricultural production through our Regenerative Energy® program.
Through this holistic approach, we demonstrate that it is fully possible to keep lands in agricultural production and produce clean renewable energy. We recognize Kentucky’s strong agricultural heritage, and we are committed to designing, building, and operating our solar power plant in a way that continues that legacy, in partnership with the ag community in Logan County and throughout the Commonwealth.
Solar facilities generate power throughout the day with peak production during midday hours when the sun energy is at its highest. Peak production and peak demand don’t often align, so the battery energy storage system (BESS) allows the energy to be shifted by up to four hours. A BESS can provide a range of benefits beyond that to help optimize both the solar plant and the utility grid to allow the consumer to have a more flexible and reliable source of energy.
Yes, the battery system has no direct emissions and can also help cut emissions as the solar and storage facilities are taking load off traditional generation. And unlike lead acid batteries like we are familiar with in our car, these batteries are of a dry type so there is no risk of the batteries leaking into the soil.
The majority of the BESS facility is comprised of metal enclosures (similar to shipping containers) which are 40’ long, 8’ wide, and approximately 8’ tall. These enclosures will be space approximately 15’ apart to allow for installation and maintenance. The remaining equipment consists of inverters and transformers which are nearly identical to those used for the solar facility.
The BESS facility will be connected to the TVA transmission system (and the PV facility) via a transformer. Downstream of the transformer is a central inverter which converts the alternating current (AC) power from the grid to direct current (DC) power and vice versa. Current will flow from the PV plant through the BESS inverter to charge the batteries, and then discharged back through the inverter and to the grid to supply power when needed.
Yes, the project will follow and adhere to all local, state, and federal regulations including fencing, electric codes, and signage.
There have been several notable battery fire incidents over the past 5 years including those from high profile cell phone and electric vehicle manufacturers. There was also a battery fire at a utility BESS facility in Arizona. In these cases, a more volatile battery chemistry called Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) was being used.
This project uses an inherently safe battery chemistry called Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) which does not have the volatile elements that led to NMC fires and has also been designed to fire and safety standards that were developed as a result of the previous fire incidents.
While there is a risk of fire with any technology which generates, transports, or stores energy, the design, testing, and analysis which have been performed as part of this project development ensure the system will operate safely.
While the solar facility has been designed for a 40-year project life, battery technology degrades and is only useful for 20 years. After that time, the BESS facility will either be repowered with newer battery technology or will be decommissioned with all components removed and the ground stabilized. In either case, the batteries will be removed, packaged, and shipped to a recycling facility for proper disposal and re-use.
At the end of the solar facility’s useful life (anticipated to be 40 years), the project will either be repowered with newer solar technology or will be decommissioned and all components removed and the ground stabilized. Silicon Ranch will ensure that decommissioning will occur safely and responsibly, and that the site remains in excellent condition.