By Memphis Business Journal

Construction of a new $5 million solar power system in Jackson, Tenn., is nearing completion.

The one megawatt solar power system with a 47-kilowatt solar array is located at 96 American Drive in Madison Industrial Park in Jackson. The solar facility will take up nearly 20 acres of the 55-acre site.

One megawatt provides enough energy to power 1,000 houses.

Meridian Development Partners purchased the property in 2008 and negotiated with Natural Energy Group, a group of Tennessee investors formed to help launch large-scale solar projects, to bring the project to fruition. The solar facility is expected to help lure other industries to the site.

⿿The people at Meridian Development Partners have shown real creativity and brought new ideas for developing property to West Tennessee,⿝ Mike Philpot, executive director of West Tennessee Industrial Association, said in a statement. ⿿Their willingness to invest in the property and promote our area is impressive.⿝

Meridian Development Partners is a New York-based real estate development firm that specializes in the acquisition and redevelopment of underutilized real estate.

The solar panels for the project are being provided by Sharp Manufacturing Company of America, which manufactures solar components in Memphis.

⿿We believe the American Drive Business Center has many attributes that differentiate it from other sites and buildings on the market,⿝ Michael Katz, managing director of Meridian Development Partners, said in a statement. ⿿The site is served by CSX rail, it is three minutes from Interstate 40, it has industrial grade infrastructure and now it will offer clean solar power. This takes the site from good to great.⿝

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