Pictured above are grazing sheep at Silicon Ranch’s Snipesville II Solar Farm—which serves Meta’s operations in the state of Georgia—as part of the company’s Regenerative Energy® platform. Silicon Ranch’s transformative Regenerative Energy model is a holistic approach to land management that co-locates renewable energy production with regenerative agriculture practices.
Why did your organization get involved with the Beyond the Megawatt initiative?
Silicon Ranch was founded on the understanding that when carried out responsibly, solar projects can create enduring, long-term value and deliver a meaningful legacy to the communities in which they are located. As the long-term landowner and project operator in every community we serve, we know how important it is to be good neighbors, stewards of the land, and collaborative partners.
The Beyond the Megawatt initiative directly aligns with our founding principles to raise the industry standard for the impact solar projects can have on American communities. Helping craft the Principles for Purpose-Driven Energy Procurement enabled us to offer our expertise gained over more than a decade of developing solar projects that our neighbors are proud to have in their community. We’ve done this at scale across the United States and have valuable insights to share about how the entire industry can take tangible action to improve operations, community relationships, and the overall reputation of renewable energy nationwide.
What impact will the Principles for Purpose-Driven Energy Procurement have on the clean energy industry?
Responsibly developed solar projects have the potential to not only provide cost-effective, reliable, renewable energy, but also to promote long-term positive economic, environmental, and social impacts on American communities. These guiding principles provide a roadmap for leaders across the renewable energy sector to maximize that potential impact and make a tangible difference.
How do the principles influence the broader transition to clean energy?
It matters how energy projects are developed, owned, and operated. By following these principles, key stakeholders can help raise the bar for our industry to better ensure that solar is able to exceed expectations of what an energy project can be through responsible project design, development, and management.
The Principles for Purpose-Driven Energy Procurement also empower decision-makers to collaborate with communities to define the long-term social, economic, and health benefits that matter most to citizens. The more leaders we can get to commit to these principles, the more we will build a great reputation for the renewable energy industry and earn the trust of communities that we need in order to develop projects where they live.
Ultimately it is our hope that these principles will help our industry uphold, and even exceed, its ambitious goals.
How will you consider the principles during your clean energy procurement process?
Silicon Ranch has historically followed the vast majority of these principles during our development and management processes, and we will continue to do so.
We will continue to expand our Regenerative Energy platform, which is our holistic approach to designing, building, and operating our projects in alignment with natural systems to regenerate soil health, biodiversity, water quality, and habitat.
Our company will continue developing and building partnerships with suppliers supporting domestic manufacturing such as the partnerships we have established with Nextracker, First Solar, and SOLARCYCLE which are helping us maintain our unblemished track record, and ultimately supporting energy resiliency.
We will also continue to listen and respond to, and collaborate with, the communities where we site our solar projects and locate new solar projects in American communities where the greatest economic and environmental benefits can be achieved, as we are doing with Clearloop, our subsidiary which creates carbon solutions for organizations of all sizes, from global corporations to small businesses and educational institutions. And we will share the Principles for Purpose-Driven Energy Procurement with our partners and customers to spread the word and get more industry leaders to commit to these actionable considerations that enable a better future for all of us by making solar do more.
Interviewee: Rob Hamilton, Director, Corporate Communications, Silicon Ranch