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Shell-Backed Solar Firm Silicon Ranch Raises $1B in 13 Months

A Nashville solar-power specialist backed by Shell, Silicon Ranch, said it raised $775 million of new capital.
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A Nashville solar-power specialist, Silicon Ranch, said it raised $775 million of new capital, bringing its total raised to $1 billion in the past 13 months.

Founded in 2011, Silicon Ranch has built utility-scale solar-power projects in Southeast states including Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee.

Overall the company owns and operates more than 150 solar facilities in 15 states.

Its portfolio includes more than 4 gigawatts of solar and battery storage systems contracted, being built, or operating within the US and Canada.

Silicon Ranch, backed by oil giant Shell RDS.A, said the latest round was led by Manulife Investment Management MFC, with a $400 million commitment.

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Shell along with other current holders including TD Greystone Infrastructure fund Global Master LP and the Nashville venture firm Mountain Group Partners, joined the latest round.

Silicon Ranch closed a $225 million raise in December 2020.

The company said it co-locates renewable energy output with "regenerative agriculture practices." A spokeswoman for Silicon Ranch said the term refers to the company’s partnerships with local ranchers. 

“[Rather] than maintaining the land/grass around the solar projects by chemical means, they have sheep graze in the area to keep the panels clear from overgrowth,” she said. This helps the surrounding land and environment, with improved soil health, cleaner water and other benefits.

"As a society we are still in the early stages of the global energy transition and find ourselves at an inflection point defined by both critical need and enormous opportunity," Reagan Farr, co-founder and chief executive of Silicon Ranch, said in a statement.