by Kyla Hurt
Click on photo to see captioned slideshow
Freeman Seed Co. is a seed company in Murrayville but has something new on its property according to part of the family team, Jon Freeman. A solar farm is in the process of being built. Four solar farms, also referred to as solar parks or photovoltaic power stations, are planned for Morgan County. “This one is the farthest along, with two not even started,” believed Freeman. The solar farm on the Freeman Seed property is a land agreement, as Freeman explained, “We lease them the property.” The ‘them’ to which he refers is Summit Ridge Energy.
Summit Ridge Energy is based in Arlington, Virginia, and develops and finances solar power plants across the United States. Summit Ridge Energy has hired Borrego Solar to actually build the solar installation. Freeman introduced Kirby Shaw, site superintendent for Borrego Solar, to discuss more of what Borrego is doing on the land. At this location, Borrego Solar will be installing a 200kW ground-mounted solar system that will convert the photovoltaic output from DC to AC power. Shaw says the construction began April 21 and the site is 13 acres. “It is comprised of modules, or solar panels … they adjust as the sun moves during the day … it acts as a tracking system. They track the sun for maximum efficiency.” As some panels have already been mounted, one can see the visible change in the angle of them. The site cannot be entered due to safety reasons and is surrounded by fencing; however, the stages of progress are visible in some places and it is very interesting.
The projected finish date for the project is the end of September, said Shaw, and though it varies from day-to-day, the average number of workers would be close to 10. Depending on variables such as residential area use or factory use, for example, the amount that the solar farm could power cannot exactly be calculated. To give an idea, Shaw said that normally 200kW could power approximately 1,000 homes.
Shaw added that as site supervisor on a project like this, he’s very glad to be with Borrego Solar, noting, “We take safety very seriously. They do things where it’s very efficient – and it makes my job a lot easier.”
Freeman says that Freeman Seed has a four-year contract for the land with Summit Ridge Energy.