Schneider Electric recently announced the opening of a 1 MW dual-voltage solar farm spanning six acres at its manufacturing plant in Smyrna, Tennessee. This is the first dual voltage solar farm in the United States with the ability to operate at both 1000VDC and 600VDC, providing an opportunity for more efficient solar farm operation and enabling Schneider Electric to further its research and testing of renewable energy. Schneider Electric’s Smyrna solar farm is the third in the state of Tennessee rated at 1 MW or more and will generate approximately 1.3 million kWh of electricity annually, 25 percent of the facility’s total use.
The $6.25 million solar farm was designed to operate at either 600V or 1000V. At 1000V, the solar farm uses 40 percent fewer parallel connections than for 600V operation and reduces the fraction of energy lost to resistance by transmitting electricity at a higher voltage.
The installation qualified for a 30 percent federal tax credit and the TVA Generation Partners Program, which offers a premium on all solar generated power that Schneider Electric sells back to TVA. Additionally, the project includes Schneider Electric’s solar inverters, transformers, panelboards, 27kv switchgear, Juno Lighting Group LED products, and additional custom engineered and manufactured devices in the field.