Part 1 of 3: “Ask Me Anything” Series with Energy CEOs, featuring Matt Kisber

Join us for the first-part in a new three-part series of “Ask Me Anything” with Energy CEOs! Our first session will feature Silicon Ranch Corporation, Co-Founder & CEO, Matt Kisber!

RSVP Now, as space is limited!

Cost is free to TAEBC members and $25 for TAEBC non-members, plus an additional small fee.

What is “Ask Me Anything”?

“Ask Me Anything” sessions provide intimate, candid discussions between attendees and energy CEOs where attendees can “ask anything” related to business, strategy, work-life balance and everything in between. The sessions will consist of live questions with a moderator as well as questions sent in prior to the event via social media.

More details coming soon! Expect announcements on the other parts of the series soon, too!

Matt Kisber, Co-Founder & CEO, Silicon Ranch Corporation

Tennessee’s largest solar farm now operational at Millington Naval Facility

The largest solar farm in the state of Tennessee is now operational at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Mid-South in Millington. The innovative project is the result of a unique public-private partnership that brought together the City of Millington, the U.S. Navy, Memphis, Light, Gas and Water (MLGW), Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), and Silicon Ranch Corporation with a shared vision to support the local community and the naval base.

Nashville-based Silicon Ranch, the U.S. solar platform for Shell and one of America’s largest independent solar power producers, employed more than 300 people to construct the 53 megawatt (MWAC) facility and will provide reliable, resilient power to the NSA Mid-South and TVA at cost-competitive rates for the next twenty years. As part of the unique partnership, Silicon Ranch signed a long-term lease with the U.S. Navy for 72 acres of base land and purchased an adjacent 348 acres from the Millington Industrial Development Board (MIDB).

While the majority of the solar array is located on the adjacent private land, the naval installation received a brand new alternative electrical feed that will increase energy security and resilience at NSA Mid-South. This feature enables the installation’s more than 6,500 personnel to focus on their mission at the Navy’s Human Resources Center of Excellence. The project also illustrates the value of divesting Navy land that isn’t crucial to an installation’s mission and could be redeveloped through partnerships to benefit the Navy and the surrounding community.

Underscoring the significance of the landmark project, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said, “Partnerships fuel innovation, and we are proud of the work by community leaders, the U.S. Navy, and Silicon Ranch to expand solar technology in West Tennessee. We look forward to a continued partnership as we strengthen rural Tennessee, modernize our infrastructure, and prepare for the jobs of the future.”

Read more from Silicon Ranch Corporation’s website.

TAEBC announces three-part ‘Ask Me Anything’ series with Energy CEOs

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council recently announced a new, three-part series that will give attendees the opportunity to “ask anything” from some of the most well-known energy CEOs in the state.

RSVP now, as space is limited!

Our first session of the “Ask Me Anything” series will feature Silicon Ranch Corporation Co-Founder & CEO, Matt Kisber!

It’ll be happening Tuesday, May 21, at Silicon Ranch’s Headquarters in Nashville starting at 2 p.m. CT.

The event will be free to all TAEBC members, and TAEBC non-members will have to pay a $25 entrance fee plus an additional small fee for processing.

“Ask Me Anything” sessions provide intimate, candid discussions between attendees and energy CEOS where attendees can “ask anything” related to business, strategy, work-life balance and everything in between.

The sessions will consist of live questions with a moderator as well as questions sent in prior to the event via social media. We will have announcements leading up to the event of when we’ll be accepting those questions, so look out for these on our LinkedIn Page, Facebook Page or Twitter Page.

Additional details for the other two parts of the series are coming soon!

Matt Kisber, Co-Founder & CEO, Silicon Ranch Corporation

Silicon Ranch Corporation looks ahead to growth following $55 million equity investment

TAEBC member Silicon Ranch Corporation (SRC), a leading U.S. developer, owner, and operator of solar energy plants located in Nashville, Tennessee, has closed on an equity investment round that raised in excess of $55 million.

Partners Group, a global private markets investment manager with over $57 billion in assets under management, led the round with a $40 million commitment on behalf of its clients. Partners Group was joined in this investment round by other Silicon Ranch shareholders, including the Greystone Infrastructure Fund managed by Greystone Managed Investments Inc., a Canadian investment management firm with over $30 billion Canadian dollars under management.

In closing this latest equity raise, Silicon Ranch attracted more than $165 million of new equity capital during the course of 2016. In April, the company announced a $100 million equity commitment from Partners Group on behalf of its clients, a platform investment that aligned the Swiss-headquartered firm with one of the fastest-growing independent power producers in the U.S.

TAEBC wanted to learn more about what this equity investment signifies for Tennessee as SRC looks ahead to a growing future in the solar power industry.

TAEBC interviewed SRC President and CEO Matt Kisber as well as SRC’s Chief Marketing Officer Matt Beasley about the investment.

Q: You all closed on an equity round of more than $55 million dollars led by Partners Group. And overall last year, SRC attracted more than $165 million of new equity capital. What does this mean for Tennessee in terms of the anticipated growth that’ll be coming from Silicon Ranch?

A: I think ultimately this reflects SRC leadership in an emerging solar industry by first of all executing a clear business strategy and then on top of that finding the right financial partners to support it. We have proven both of those things by more than doubling our operating capacity in 2016 and by closing these equity investments. We have proven you can base your company in Tennessee and be a successful player in the U.S. solar industry. We plan to continue to invest in Tennessee and recruit talented individuals to join our team in Nashville.

Solar provides a range of benefits to the communities we serve. Beyond the significant environmental benefits, solar also brings a genuine economic proposition and an economic development tool for communities to leverage.

Q: What new solar power goals and accelerated momentum is this investment inspiring within your office?

A: The $165 million will provide equity to grow our portfolio and explore opportunities in new markets. With our growth, we now develop and operate close to 300 MW of solar across the country, and we’ve more than doubled our staff.

We have 21 team members in our Nashville office, a lot of them were hired in 2016 during this watershed year in our company’s history. That wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our investors. We’ve got the financial resources we have today thanks in large part to our awesome partners, including Partners Group and Greystone Managed Investments. They have fully supported our growth by drawing on their own long track records of investment in our sector globally. They’re great partners.

Specific to our work in Tennessee, the Millington solar farm will be the largest solar power plant in the state once construction is complete in 2018. It will provide energy security, clean renewable power, and a range of economic benefits. We have worked in close partnership with the local industrial development board to maximize the positive benefit to their work on behalf of the community. Our work in Millington will also provide real benefits to the electrical infrastructure in the area.

Q: Where do you see Silicon Ranch Corporation ten years from now thanks to this equity investment?

A: Ten years from now the solar market in the U.S. will be much larger. I predict we will see tremendous growth throughout the country for solar. I predict the country will better embrace solar technologies, including battery storage.

The solar industry in the U.S. is in the midst of rapid, dynamic expansion, and Silicon Ranch is well positioned to play a meaningful role in its development. Solar will continue to be SRC’s primary focus, and we’ll be looking to scale our strong platform in the U.S. solar market. Here in Tennessee, we’ll look to grow our team in line with this growth and to support our position as a significant player in renewable energy.

We have the right ingredients for continued growth. We’ve got a good track record, a talented team, an active board, and great investors. In our six years, we’ve got solar projects in six states and have plans to expand into new markets over the next few years.

Q: Anything else?

A: While SRC plays a role in Tennessee’s economic development there are other companies in the community doing their part as well. Shoals Technologies Group in Sumner County, for example, manufactures “balance of systems” solutions and stands today as a leader in the renewable energy industry, exporting their products all over the world. So I think its fair to say that Tennessee has an important place in the solar global supply chain through the great work of a number of companies across the state.

It’s a Wrap: TAEBC Completes Filming of Advanced Energy Video Series

TAEBC has been busy the past two months, traveling across the region to film the organization’s first video series. Thanks to the sponsorship of TAEBC Charter members, Silicon Ranch Corporation, Oak Ridge National Lab and Strata-G, three videos were filmed in April and May.

Dan Hurst

Strata-G President Dan Hurst, a TAEBC video sponsor, on set at Maryville College.

The videos take an up close look at the advanced energy sector. Titled “This is Advanced Energy,” “Inside Advanced Energy” and “Innovations in Advanced Energy,” the series features interviews with TAEBC member organizations along with action footage of production, research and development.

TAEBC kicked off filming with an interview at TAEBC Charter member, PYA. Past President Tom Ballard provided insight on what makes Tennessee rich in advanced energy resources and why the industry is a leading economic driver for the state.

TAEBC spent a day at Oak Ridge National Lab, capturing scientific and development aspects of advanced energy and how a concept moves from the idea phase to research to production. ORNL will be the focus of the third video in the series, “Innovations in Advanced Energy.”

While in Middle Tennessee, TAEBC filmed with TAEBC member, Bridgestone, learning about the company’s commitment to energy efficiency in tire production. TAEBC also spent time with TAEBC member, Schneider Electric, taking an in-depth look at microgrid development. TAEBC wrapped up its Nashville area tour at Silicon Ranch Corporation headquarters, hearing about solar advancements in Tennessee.

Matt Kisber

Behind the scenes filming at Silicon Ranch in Nashville. Silicon Ranch is a TAEBC video sponsor.

We traveled to Vonore and visited with TAEBC member, Genera Energy, taking a closer look at biomass processing and switchgrass production. Strata-G hosted TAEBC at the site of one of its energy efficient buildings on the Maryville College campus and also took the camera along for a trip to its natural gas fueling stations in Sevier County.

Other members participating in the production include TAEBC members, Clean Line Energy and PHG Energy, who supplied footage to be included in the video series.

Thank you to all members for making the filming possible. TAEBC will provide sneak peeks and first looks throughout the year in the newsletter and on all social media channels. Photos and video clips are available on the Flickr and YouTube accounts.

The videos are anticipated to be ready for preview in early fall. A launch party is planned for all members and participants. It’s an exciting time to be a TAEBC member. Watch the e-news for more updates and information including a save the date preview invite.