SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 6, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorp (NYSE:GY) company, and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation have signed agreements with Silicon Ranch Corporation, a Nashville-based renewable energy provider, which will build and manage what will be the largest solar field in Arkansas. The 12-megawatt project will be constructed in Highland Industrial Park, located in the city of East Camden, and will occupy approximately 100 acres. It will serve to provide predictable energy costs as well as contribute to ongoing clean energy development and economic growth in the region.
A unique business approach to a common vision of adding clean solar power to the Arkansas electricity mix has brought customer Aerojet Rocketdyne and its utilities, Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC) and Ouachita Electric Cooperative Corporation (OECC), together.
Under its agreement, Aerojet Rocketdyne will purchase solar power for the 1,200-acre site it leases in East Camden. Silicon Ranch Corporation is expected to complete the project in late 2015. Once completed, the plant will provide clean supplemental daytime power to Aerojet Rocketdyne and will be capable of generating enough electricity to power the equivalent of 2,400 single-family homes. Excess solar energy will be released to AECC and integrated into the cooperative's diverse generation portfolio.
"Aerojet Rocketdyne understands the importance of solar energy especially when it comes to clean air, the natural environment and economic growth," said Chris Conley, vice president of Environmental, Health and Safety for Aerojet Rocketdyne. "This agreement better positions our company to attain these objectives and is a critical step toward bringing more renewable energy to rural America. It will contribute to state and federal energy portfolio goals, as well as many of the economic challenges that face businesses."
The 12-megawatts, which produce zero emissions, will serve both Aerojet Rocketdyne and AECC. AECC is a generation and transmission electric cooperative that provides reliable and affordable wholesale power to 17 electric distribution cooperatives, including Aerojet Rocketdyne's utility service provider, OECC. Through an innovative partnership, the companies have worked together to provide Arkansas and AECC's more than 500,000 members with additional clean energy.
OECC, which distributes power to the Highland Industrial Park, assisted in the agreement by providing technical support, guidance and expertise in power production and delivery. OECC's involvement with Aerojet Rocketdyne is a result of a Southern Arkansas University Tech initiative to explore distributive energy options and economic growth for rural Southern Arkansas.
"OECC's and AECC's partnership with Aerojet Rocketdyne and Silicon Ranch is a means to bring new technology to south Arkansas while providing jobs, attracting new business and providing clean affordable energy for our members," said Mark Cayce, general manager of Ouachita Electric Cooperative. "We have advocated for rural communities for more than 75 years. Over the last several years, we have offered our members innovative methods to become more energy efficient. This effort enhances our programs."
Silicon Ranch echoes the importance of bringing renewable generation to rural America. "We are excited to partner with Aerojet Rocketdyne in developing the first, large-scale solar project in Arkansas. This would not be possible without the participation and support of AECC and OECC. We believe this clean-energy investment will spur positive economic, environmental and social advantages for the region," said Matthew Kisber, president and chief executive officer of Silicon Ranch.
"AECC is strongly committed to exploring all available power-generation options and partnerships in its mission to provide our members with reliable, affordable energy in a responsible manner," said Duane Highley, president and chief executive officer of AECC. "AECC is excited about pursuing innovative projects of this nature that will provide long-term benefits to its members."
About Aerojet Rocketdyne
Aerojet Rocketdyne is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader providing propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets. GenCorp is a diversified company that provides innovative solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense, and real estate markets. Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne and GenCorp can be obtained by visiting the companies' websites at www.Rocket.com and www.GenCorp.com.
About Silicon Ranch
Silicon Ranch Corporation – http://siliconranchcorp.com/ – Silicon Ranch, one of the top 15 solar operators in the U.S., is a turnkey, renewable energy provider that customizes solar solutions based upon the individual needs of its customers. Silicon Ranch's value to its customers is its ability to develop and execute solar solutions that help companies build brand equity and pursue a socially responsible community benefit while allowing those companies to focus on their core business activities. Silicon Ranch has been instrumental in helping its partners accomplish numerous "firsts" in their respective marketplaces.
About Ouachita Electric Cooperative Corporation
OECC is a locally owned electric distribution cooperative that provides electricity services to approximately 9,500 homes, farms and businesses in Southern Arkansas servicing Calhoun, and parts of Dallas, Ouachita, Bradley and Nevada counties. OECC is a member of the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives a brand represents a nationwide alliance made of more than 700 local, member-owned electric cooperatives in 46 states. Additional information about OECC is available at www.oecc.com.
About Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation
AECC is a generation and transmission cooperative headquartered in Little Rock. AECC is the wholesale power supplier for 17 member electric distribution cooperatives in Arkansas. The cooperative has approximately 3,916 MW of generation capacity resources. AECC assists its member cooperatives in improving the quality of life through the delivery of reliable electric power and related services. Additional information about AECC is available at www.aecc.com.
CONTACT: Glenn Mahone, Aerojet Rocketdyne, 202.302.9941 or Glenn.Mahone@Rocket.com Kristin Conner, Aerojet Rocketdyne, 916.761.2788 or Kristin.Conner@Rocket.com Rob Roedel, Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, 501.570.2296 or Rob.Roedel@aecc.com
Source: Aerojet Rocketdyne