Solar farm could be coming to new sports complex in Clarksville

Clarksville SIlcon Ranch.png
Posted at 10:35 PM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-20 23:48:00-04

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — City officials proposed a nearly 350-acre new multi-purpose sports complex in North Clarksville.

It will have ball fields, walking trails and concessions and some of that land could be used for a solar farm.

Mayor Joe Pitts announced a proposal to sell more than 140 acres to Silicon Ranch, a Nashville company that builds and operates solar power generating facilities.

The solar farm would be built on a section of the future park purposed for hiking trails.

"This is all part of a trend trying to become more sustainable and less dependent on carbon emissions for our energy," said Richard Stevens, City of Clarksville Communications Director.

Silicon Ranch would sell up to 15 megawatts of solar power generated at the site to CDE Lightband.

Today, Silicon Ranch has 140 active sites in 14 states across the country.

The City of Clarksville’s power and broadband services utility. CDE Lightband says that amount of power would provide 56 percent of the electricity needed for the City of Clarksville government buildings, streetlights and other facilities.

Some residents say it’s too soon for them to form an opinion but they hope this all works out for everyone involved.

"I think there are definitely pros and cons I mean, like, like you said, we are a military town it means those spaces for our families and for our children and adults," said Sarah Shield, "At the same time, if that is a benefit to the community down the line, then that's a good thing too".

Under a purchase agreement being considered by the City Council, Silicon Ranch would buy an option to purchase the property. Ultimately, if Silicon Ranch executes the option, it would pay $3,360,000 for the 140.2 acres. The City, in 2018, purchased the full 347.5-acre site for $4,083,000. After the sale, the city would retain about 207 acres for the development of Phases 1 and 2 of the Athletic Complex.

The City Council appropriated $14.6 million for Athletic Complex design and construction in its Fiscal 2021 budget amendments approved in October 2020. Mayor Pitts said the $3.36 million generated by the sale of land to Silicon Ranch would be added to the Athletic Complex capital project.

The Athletic Complex project will also require the City to construct an access road from Rossview Road to the athletic fields, the Silicon Ranch property and other commercial land being developed nearby.

City Council will need to vote on the changes.