April has brought an influx of solar energy to the Memphis area.

First, the 2012 Solar Solutions Conference, hosted by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Tennessee Solar Institute (TSI), convened at the Memphis Cook Convention Center. The conference brought in over 500 people, including representatives from some of Tennessee’s 180 for-profit companies in the solar sector – 33 of which are new companies since 2008.

Then, on Wednesday April 12 the Agricenter celebrated the opening of their new solar array – a farm of solar panels expected to produce 1 megawatt of energy over the course of a year. Manufactured in Memphis, the panels were installed by a Nashville-based company.

State representatives and economic developers hope the growing solar industry in Tennessee will help job growth in the Memphis area and statewide.

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(Photo: Steve Woods)