NES to transform old landfill off I-65 into solar project

(AP Photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Nashville Electric Service will soon break ground on a solar project that will help with energy consumption.

The nine-acre lot off Interstate 65 in Madison used to be a landfill but hasn’t been used in 40 years. Soon though, the space will be transformed and will have an entirely new purpose – creating solar energy.

“It’s going to be the first two megawatts solar ray. [It’ll] be the largest community solar array here in Nashville,” said Sylvia Smith, Vice President of Customer Services.

The panels will provide energy to about 210 homes on average.

“It captures the sun and provides the electricity into the electric system and into the grid,” explained Smith. “We will be monitoring the generation from the sun for the solar, then the credit will be on the customers’ bill based on the generation for that panel monthly.”

The cost is a one-time fee of $215.

“One solar panel, the subscription, will on average produce a $12 credit to the customer on their bill,” Smith said.

Over the 20 year life of the project, the panels will put out $50 million kilowatts of energy and it will also be a place to learn.

“There will be an overlook and we will be providing and working with our local schools and colleges where we can go out and help provide the education to our youth about solar and youth about clean and renewable energy,” Smith explained.

Space is already filling up, but plans for more solar energy projects are in the works.

“We think it’s a beginning and we are looking at the future for additional sites,” Smith said.

Any NES customer can apply. A Solar Angel program has also been established by NES and the Community Foundation. The program will provide low-income customers with solar assistance.

The initial groundbreaking on the project was postponed and a new date has not yet been set.