SOURCE: Signal Energy, LLC

July 11, 2011 10:39 ET

Signal Energy Begins Construction at West Tennessee Solar Farm

CHATTANOOGA, TN--(Marketwire - Jul 11, 2011) - Signal Energy, LLC, a major design/build general contractor to the North American renewable energy industry and the design/build contractor for the West Tennessee Solar Farm, has begun construction on the 5 MW West Tennessee Solar Farm in Haywood County. The project will be the largest utility scale solar installation in the state and one of the largest in the Southeast when it is completed.

"Signal Energy is proud to be working with the University of Tennessee and the Department of Economic and Community Development to move Tennessee's clean energy industry forward," said Ben Fischer, president of Signal Energy. "The West Tennessee Solar Farm showcases that Tennessee is well positioned to emerge as a national leader in the clean energy economy, with the solar industry leading the way."

The West Tennessee Solar Farm is part of the Volunteer State Solar Initiative, created to benefit the Tennessee economy by using federal dollars to create jobs and provide support to a growing solar industry. Under the VSSI, $31 million in ARRA funds will be used to install the Solar Farm and the Tennessee Solar Institute will use $23.5 million to issue grants from the Solar Opportunity Fund, a program designed to underwrite the installation of next generation energy efficiency systems by Tennessee businesses and to provide training, technology and technical assistance to companies in the solar industry value chain. When fully implemented, programs associated with VSSI will have made possible the installation of at least 10 megawatts of renewable energy generating capacity in Tennessee. In addition to broadening the adoption of new clean energy technologies, the VSSI is also designed to facilitate the training of Tennesseans in new skills and the sharing of "best business practices" across Tennessee's burgeoning renewable energy industry.

When complete, the West Tennessee Solar Farm will occupy 35 acres of land next to Interstate 40 in Haywood County and will be one of the largest solar installations in the Southeast U.S. The design for the Solar Farm calls for the installation of more than 21,000 silicon-based photovoltaic modules producing more than 7,000,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. Development of the Solar Farm is being managed by the University of Tennessee Research Foundation.

The West Tennessee Solar Farm's initial 5 MW installed capacity is expected to be complete in early 2012. The Farm is designed to allow for up to 10 MW of solar energy generation in the future.

To date, Signal Energy completed design and engineering for the Farm and is currently finishing site work. In addition, most major equipment and material has been procured. All procurement for the Farm is being conducted in conformance with the "Buy American" provisions of Section 1605 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, as well as requirements for preference to Tennessee bidders. The engineering, construction and manufacturing of equipment and material for the West Tennessee Solar Farm is providing work for hundreds of Americans.

Solar energy is an abundant resource in the Tennessee Valley. In fact, the Valley's solar energy potential is 50 percent greater than that of Germany, a world leader in solar photovoltaic installations. Tennessee's prominence in the solar industry has been highlighted by the construction of two major polysilicon manufacturing facilities in (Wacker Chemie in Cleveland and Hemlock Semiconductor in Clarksville) for a total investment of over $3.5 billion.

Signal Energy currently has renewable energy projects under construction in ten locations in six states, including solar projects in New Mexico and Arizona.

In 2010 Signal Energy completed work on nine solar energy projects that totaled more than 34 MW. Since its formation in 2005, Signal Energy has completed over 35 renewable energy projects ranging from 10 MW to over 120 MW in the United States and Canada.

Signal Energy will be at the Intersolar Conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, July 12-14 to network with other companies from around the world to expedite the implementation of solar as a significant source of energy.

This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy under Award Number DE-EE0000160.

About Signal Energy
Signal Energy is a full service design/build contractor providing Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) services for renewable energy projects across North America. Signal Energy is the renewable energy subsidiary of EMJ Corporation, one of the largest general contractors in North America. For more information, please visit

About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development's mission is to create higher skilled, better paying jobs for all Tennesseans. The department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. To find out more, go to or

About University of Tennessee Research Foundation
The University of Tennessee Research Foundation is an independent 501(c)3 organization that provides assistance and resources to various research endeavors of the UT campuses. UTRF oversees the West Tennessee Solar Farm and Tennessee Solar Institute, as well as Genera Energy and the commercialization of UT intellectual property. For more information, visit