Case Study: Millington Solar Farm
At 53 MWac, the Millington Solar Farm is the largest operating Regenerative Energy® project in Tennessee*.
The land housing this project is managed using holistic planned sheep grazing, also referred to as adaptive multi-paddock sheep grazing. This practice aims to lower land management costs over time while increasing the ecological, social, and economic outcomes of the project. Regenerative Energy® partnered with Cabriejo Ranch to launch and deliver holistic land management practices at this 400+ acre project while restoring the land to a functioning grassland ecosystem.
Regenerative Practices Used
- Holistic planned grazing
- Livestock fed exclusively forage
- No broadcast chemical pesticides or herbicides
- Tailored vegetation management to optimize the creation of pollinator and ground-nesting bird habitat while ensuring that solar panels are not shaded
- Acreage: 414
- Number of Sheep: 1,000 – 5,000
- Project Size: 525,000 modules
- Solar Capacity: 53 MWac
- Savory Institute Ecological Outcome Verification (EOV): Measurements and regenerative land certification pending
Flourishing Biodiversity in Flora and Fauna
Since the project’s completion, Regenerative Energy® has seen an increase in the land’s vegetative growth, including various plants that provide pollinator and ground-nesting bird habitats, and a decrease in bare areas. This, combined with looser soils, has reduced erosion and stormwater runoff and increased retention of water and nutrients. Additionally, biodiversity of flora and fauna across the entire site has noticeably increased, as a variety of wildlife—such as bobcats, coyotes, deer, bald eagles, turkeys, songbirds, rabbits, snakes, butterflies, bees, praying mantis, and stick bugs—is taking advantage of the improved habitat.
Social and Economic
In addition to positive environmental outcomes, this project continues to provide economic benefits, including a new revenue stream for Cabriejo Ranch, income for two of the project’s local land managers, local grass-fed meat production, and associated indirect (supply chain spending) and induced (household spending) wage impacts to the local economy.
“The Millington Solar Farm is the largest Regenerative Energy® project in Tennessee and serves as the main hub for Regenerative Energy® services at smaller solar arrays throughout West Tennessee. What we’re doing here in Millington—and the lessons we’re learning—has already helped us design better power plants to accommodate regenerative agriculture at future projects in Tennessee.”
~Michael Baute, Director of Regenerative Energy and Land Management, Silicon Ranch Corporation
- Local 24 News, Millington Goes Green with the Largest Solar Farm in Tennessee
- The Daily Memphian, Sheep Help Land, Modern Technology Coexist at Area Solar Farm
- Solar Power World, Silicon Ranch Completes 53-MWac Solar Project at Tennessee Navy Base
- Solar Industry, Largest Solar Development in Tennessee Comes Online
*As of May 2021