Dozens of leaders, elected officials and members of Restoration Service, Inc.; Vis Solis, Mid-Scale Renewables; TVA; Barry Brown Construction; Enerparc, Inc.; Plateau Partnership Park; City of Rockwood; Crossville; Cumberland County; and the Crossville Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce joined together last week to celebrate the ground-breaking ceremony for Plateau Park Solar, a one megawatt solar park located on six acres of the Plateau Partnership Park. The project is expected to be up and running in approximately five weeks. 
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Plateau Partnership Park to host solar park

Gary Nelson - Aug 9, 2016 - Crossville Chronicle

Under a bright, sunny sky, scorching August temperatures and the buzz of drones flying overhead capturing the ceremony on video, it seemed apropos the Plateau Partnership Park would be the site of a groundbreaking ceremony for its first tenant on the land — a one megawatt (MW) solar park.

Gil Hough, renewable energy manager of Restoration Service, Inc. (RSI), said, "Who would have thought just five years ago we'd be at a groundbreaking for a solar park with a drone flying overhead for solar array project?"

RSI and Vis Solis, Inc. hosted the groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the launch of their new one MW solar array, Plateau Park Solar, at the Plateau Partnership Park industrial development complex last week in Rockwood.

"We're pioneering the future of modern energy," said Florent Abadie, chief executive officer of Enerparc, Inc., investor of the project.

Abadie flew in from San Francisco, CA, to attend the ceremony.

"Besides, somebody had to bring the donuts," he joked.

Ice water, cookies and donuts sufficed the group of more than 20 who were on hand to celebrate the new solar venture.

Among those attending were Ray Evans, PPP board member; John Davis, PPP chairman; Cumberland County Mayor Kenneth Carey Jr.; Crossville Mayor James Mayberry; Crossville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce Director Brad Allamong; and Chamber Assistant Director Ashley DeRossett.

In addition, community and elected officials from the city of Rockwood, and Roane and Morgan counties, were in attendance.

The property is on Pig Path Rd., just off Westel Rd. and on the line of eastern Cumberland County.

The project will temporarily create 12 jobs for approximately one year during the construction of the first four solar park sites. After construction there will be a couple of maintenance jobs that will last for approximately 20-plus years, the life of the system.

The site should be complete and operational within five weeks.

Kendall Baer, general manager of Rockwood Electric Utility, said the interconnection has already been constructed and installed on the site.

Working together for more than five years, Vis Solis, Franklin, TN, and Brown Construction, of Fayetteville, TN, joined forces and formed the new partnership, Tennessee Valley Alternative Energy, earlier this year to provide EPC services for alternative energy projects in the Tennessee Valley.

With the new one MW Plateau Park Solar array, the group continues its quest for increasing solar generation projects in the Tennessee.

Carlos Mayer, president and CEO, Vis Solis Inc. and
managing member of Tennessee Valley Alternative Energy said

Plateau Park Solar is a one MW solar photovoltaic electric power‑ generating facility developed under a partnership between RSI and Vis Solis in cooperation with Plateau Partnership Park and the city of Rockwood.

Engineering, procurement and construction of Plateau Park Solar is performed by Tennessee Valley Alternative Energy as the primary subcontractor.

“RSI’s Renewable Energy Program developed a ‘Solar Advantage’ approach to help industrial facilities in our region create sustainability attributes by locating large‑scale solar generating facilities on restricted or unbuildable parcels,” said Paul Clay, president of RSI.

The project is located on a six-acre parcel of Plateau Partnership Park, a commercial and industrial development site.
Plateau Partnership Park is the product of a historic economic development partnership of Cumberland, Morgan and Roane Counties in East Tennessee.

The solar project will create a major environmental attribute for this industrial complex that is immediately adjacent to Interstate 40.

“We see this project as a positive asset for the park as we move forward toward the development of one of the state’s premier industrial sites. We welcome RSI and Vis Solis and thank them for choosing our site for this facility,” John Davis, chairman, Industrial Development Board of the counties of Cumberland, Morgan and Roane.

The project will sell electric power to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) through an interconnection with Rockwood Electric Utility.

The one MW solar array will be constructed using 3,268 solar modules at 305 watts each. The modules will be connected to a single axis tracker to maximize generation.

System generation is estimated at approximately 1,688,384  kWh per year. That is the equivalent to CO2 emissions from 175 homes’ electrical use per year or greenhouse gas emissions from 251 passenger vehicles driven per year.

RSI and Vis Solis have three additional one MW sites under development in the TVA region in Knox, Putnam and Loudon counties.

Vis Solis (Latin for “the power of the sun”) facilitates the development, installation and financing of utility-scale and commercial photovoltaic projects no matter if it is a ground-, roof- or pole‑mounted system.

RSI is an employee-owned, small business headquartered in Oak Ridge with offices in Oak Ridge; Portsmouth, OH; and Aiken, SC, offering services focused on environmental cleanup and beneficial site reuse.

Gary Nelson may be reached at gnelson@crossville-chronicle.com