Distillery agrees to get 75 percent of its energy needs from new solar farm

Jack Daniel Still No. 5 will be just one of the many manufacturing processes to be fueled by green energy produced right down the road on Highway 55. On Tuesday, the distillery announced an agreement to purchase 75 percent of its energy needs from the new Moore County solar farm through TVA and DREMC. (Photo Courtesy of Jack Daniel’s Distillery)

LOCAL NEWS — Yesterday’s announcement that Metro Moore County would become the new home of a new 200-megawatt capacity solar farm – an over $100 million investment in renewable energy and the largest solar project ever announced in the state of Tennessee – got a lot of attention. But nestled in that announcement was the fact that Jack Daniel’s Distillery would be making its own first. {To read our complete coverage of the announcement, click here.}

Our local distillery partnered with Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Duck River Electric Membership Corporation (DREMC), and Nashville-based solar power producer Silicon Ranch on an agreement to purchase a portion of solar power that will be generated just down the road on Highway 55 – making them the first distillery to sign a Green Invest deal to purchase solar from TVA.

“Our commitment to making great whiskey is only matched by our commitment to preserving the world we call home through sustainable practices,” said Jack Daniel’s Vice President and Assistant General Manager Melvin Keebler. “We’re excited to be the first distillery to sign a Green Invest deal that will provide nearly three-quarters of our electricity needs. Now the world’s most iconic whiskey is even greener.”

Jack Daniel’s already runs its distillery with a zero-waste to landfill policy and has programs to protect the water and wood used to make its whiskey.

An example of TVA’s focus on renewable energy

This Moore County solar project is another win for TVA’s nationally recognized Green Invest program, which has already secured solar farms to help meet the renewable energy goals of auto manufacturers, data centers, local power companies, cities, and universities.

 “This announcement demonstrates the environmental leadership of Jack Daniel’s and Duck River, fueled by our shared long-term commitment to renewable energy and community engagement,” said TVA Vice President of Origination and Renewables Chris Hansen. “TVA’s Green Invest program is the nexus for any organization interested in making renewable energy a part of their business.” 

Since 2018, Green Invest has attracted nearly $2.7 billion in solar investment and procured over 2,100 megawatts of solar on behalf of its customers – maintaining TVA’s green energy leadership as the energy provider with the greatest amount of renewable generation in the Southeast.

 “TVA, Jack Daniel’s and Duck River are excellent neighbors who are valuable assets to our community,” said Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis. “Each year, hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world tour the distillery, and this solar farm from our newest corporate citizen Silicon Ranch will be another attraction as they provide additional construction jobs and tax revenue to Moore County.”

Silicon Ranch collaborated with local landowners Cumberland Springs Land Company, the leadership at Motlow State Community College, and officials in Moore County to develop the solar project.

“The Tennessee Valley is our home, and Silicon Ranch is honored to be part of this compelling story that demonstrates what’s possible when partners work together with a shared commitment to our local communities,” said Reagan Farr, Silicon Ranch Co-Founder and CEO. “Thanks to the leadership of our friends at TVA, local power companies such as DREMC, and visionary companies such as Jack Daniel’s, Silicon Ranch is on pace to invest more than $1 billion across the Valley, and we are proud to expand this legacy to Moore County.”

TVA sees a bright future for solar fueling the region’s economy and has increased its contracted solar capacity by 60 percent since October 2020.

“Duck River is honored to serve as Jack Daniel’s trusted energy provider,” said Scott Spence, DREMC president and CEO. “We have witnessed great things happen over the years through Jack Daniel’s investment in the Metro Lynchburg, Moore County community, and this is no exception. Duck River is thrilled to be a part of this project.”  •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only daily newspaper in Lynchburg. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}