The United States’ first dual voltage solar power plant is now up and running in Tennessee. Schneider Electric said the 1-megawatt, six-acre solar plant will power about a quarter of its Smyrna manufacturing plant’s electricity needs.
An ability to switch from 600 to 1000 volt operations enables the plant to limit the number of parallel connections it needs and reduce the amount of energy it loses to resistance. The new solar array qualified for a 30 percent federal tax credit, and it will also earn premiums from the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Generation Partners Program for selling electricity back to the TVA.
“Schneider Electric sees renewable energy sources – particularly solar energy – as a key driver in addressing today’s energy challenge,” Schneider Electric executive Jeff Drees said.
Schneider employs 1,250 people at four facilities in Tennessee. The company’s solar panelboards, inverters and other equipment are used at the new solar-power plant, which also feature LED products from Juno Lighting Group.