DENSO, Silicon Ranch, Maryville Electric and TVA Break Ground on First of Four Solar Facilities in Tennessee
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. and MARYVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 2, 2022) - DENSO, a leading mobility supplier, and Silicon Ranch, one of the nation’s largest independent power producers, today broke ground on a new solar facility at DENSO’s Maryville, Tennessee, location, along with the City of Maryville Electric Department and Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).
The new solar farm is the first of four solar production facilities the group plans to bring online in Tennessee. Harnessing solar power helps DENSO advance its Two Great Causes: Green—achieving carbon neutrality by 2035—and Peace of Mind—creating a safe and seamless world for all; strengthen its involvement in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Plants program; and bolster broader efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its manufacturing operations and energy use.
When the solar projects are completed and coupled with additional energy conservation initiatives, 100 percent of electrical needs for DENSO’s Maryville facility will be sourced from renewable energy. This will help the Maryville location, which is a manufacturing hub for DENSO electrification and safety systems, support greater sustainability locally through its operations and across North America with its products.
The event included a tour of DENSO’s Maryville campus, followed by remarks from representatives of each partner that made the solar facility possible, including:
- Shinichi Nakamizo: President of DENSO’s Maryville Facility and a Senior Director of DENSO Corporation
- Andy White: Mayor of Maryville
- Matt Kisber: Co-Founder and Chairman at Silicon Ranch
- Carol Eimers: Regional Vice President for the East Region at TVA
“Our mission is to contribute to a better world, and as part of that, we’re committed to reducing CO2 emissions, not only through our products, but also in our operations and processes,” said Shinichi Nakamizo, president of DENSO’s Maryville facility and a Senior Director of DENSO Corporation. “We’re grateful to Maryville Electric, Silicon Ranch and TVA for helping us turn our commitment into action. We also thank our Maryville team, whose leadership is instrumental in this project and helps advance local communities toward a clean energy future.”
Through collaboration with the City of Maryville Electric Department and Silicon Ranch, DENSO will access a portion of the total 10.5 megawatts of solar energy produced under TVA's Generation Flexibility program, starting with the facility located on DENSO’s Maryville campus. The TVA program enables participating local power companies (LPCs) to generate up to 5% of their total energy load to meet the renewable energy goals of their customers, attract sustainability-focused businesses to their communities, and solve individual challenges for their distribution systems.
“TVA has been bringing renewable energy to the Valley for over 20 years, and this partnership using TVA Green programs expands the reach that our Green Renewable Solutions have on local communities across our region,” said Doug Perry, TVA Senior Vice President of Commercial Energy Solutions. “With a shared mission in mind, this solar project with Silicon Ranch and the others to follow will not only help us meet our own sustainability goals but those of our LPCs and their customers as well.”
“These solar farms are an incredible opportunity for us to bring renewable energy to our community from a trusted source,” said Baron Swafford, City of Maryville Public Utilities Director. “TVA’s Generation Flexibility Program allows us to combine the unique offerings of DENSO and Silicon Ranch to develop a sustainable power source for our communities and those around us in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains.”
“Part of what makes these solar facilities so special is that every partner involved shares a commitment to the success of this community and the surrounding region,” said Matt Kisber, Silicon Ranch Co-Founder and Chairman. “Silicon Ranch takes great pride in our Tennessee roots, and our colleague who led our development work here is a Maryville native whose family has been here for seven generations. Each step in the process of bringing these solar farms to life is another proof-point for what is possible when people genuinely care about delivering positive outcomes for the communities we serve.”
The groundbreaking comes after DENSO installed EV chargers this spring at its Maryville facility, a move that enables employees to charge their battery electric and hybrid electric vehicles while at work. DENSO is committed to continuously innovating to protect the environment and society.
DENSO is a $45.1 billion global mobility supplier that develops advanced technology and components for nearly every vehicle make and model on the road today. With manufacturing at its core, DENSO invests in its 198 facilities to produce electrification system, powertrain system, thermal system, mobility electronics, & advanced devices, to create jobs that directly change how the world moves. The company’s 167,000+ employees are paving the way to a mobility future that improves lives, eliminates traffic accidents, and preserves the environment. Globally headquartered in Kariya, Japan, DENSO spent 9.0 percent of its global consolidated sales on research and development in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2022. For more information about global DENSO, visit https://www.denso.com/global/en/.
In North America, DENSO is headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, and employs 27,000+ engineers, researchers, and skilled workers across 51 sites in the U.S, Canada and Mexico. In the United States alone, DENSO employs 17,700+ employees across 14 states (and the District of Columbia) and 41 sites. In the fiscal year ending March 31, 2022, DENSO in North America generated $9.5 billion in consolidated sales. DENSO is committed to advancing diversity and inclusion inside the company and beyond – a principle that brings unique perspectives together, bolsters innovation, and pushes DENSO forward. Join us, and craft not only how the world moves, but also your career: densocareers.com. For more information, go to https://www.denso.com/us-ca/en/
About Silicon Ranch
Founded in 2011, Silicon Ranch is a fully integrated provider of customized renewable energy, carbon, and battery storage solutions for a diverse set of partners across North America. The company is one of the largest independent power producers in the country, with a portfolio that includes more than five gigawatts of solar and battery storage systems that are contracted, under construction, or operating across the U.S. and Canada. Silicon Ranch owns and operates every project in its portfolio and has maintained an unblemished track record of project execution, having successfully commissioned every project it has contracted in its history. Silicon Ranch has the largest utility scale agrivoltaics portfolio in the country under Regenerative Energy® its nationally recognized holistic approach to project design, construction, and land management. This model incorporates regenerative ranching and other regenerative land management practices to restore livelihoods and soil health, biodiversity, and water quality. In 2021, Silicon Ranch acquired Clearloop, which helps businesses of all sizes reclaim their carbon footprint with a direct investment in building new solar projects while helping to bring renewable energy and economic development to distressed communities. To learn more, visit siliconranch.com, regenerativeenergy.org, and clearloop.us. Follow Silicon Ranch on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
About the City of Maryville
The City of Maryville is a municipality in Blount County, Tennessee serving over 30,000 residents and 5,000 commercial and industrial customers. Citizens elect a five-member City Council which directs a professional City Manager to attend to the City’s daily business – performed by more than 300 people who have dedicated their careers to public service. Drawing from the wisdom of 225 years of history, city leaders guide the city’s policies and form innovative partnerships to offer the best options for our community. For more information visit www.maryvillegov.com
About Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving nearly 10 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system, and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.