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West TN Solar Farm Ribbon Cutting

By 7 Eyewitness News Staff
By news@wbbjtv.com

The University of Tennessee and the State of Tennessee celebrated the official opening of the 5 megawatt West Tennessee Solar Farm with a ribbon cutting ceremony, Thursday.

The solar farm is the largest facility of its kind in the state. Nearly 10 million vehicles a year will pass by the solar farm as the travel the Interstate 40 corridor thorough Haywood County in West Tennessee. Officials said the solar farm will allow the public to gain first-hand knowledge of solar energy.

"The Recovery Act was a great opportunity to help America get ahead in this global competition for clean energy," said Dan Poneman, Deputy Secretary of Energy. " You see a project, like this one, and you see all the great jobs that it created at the same time you're providing affordable electricity for West Tennessee. It's a great opportunity."

The solar energy industry is a rapidly growing sector of the state's economy. Tennessee has around 180 companies in the solar industry and employs more than 6,400 people in solar-related businesses.