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McCarthy to Build 12-Megawatt Solar Field at Highland Industrial Park

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Silicon Ranch Corp. of Nashville, Tennessee, said Tuesday that it has hired McCarthy Building Companies Inc. of Phoenix, Arizona, to build its 12-megawatt solar field in East Camden.

Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. announced in February that it had signed an agreement Silicon Ranch to build the 100-acre field, which will be the largest in the state. The field, located in the Highland Industrial Park, is expected to be complete by late 2015.

McCarthy said it plans “to secure local subcontractors and craftsmen to provide the bulk of on-site construction work” for the six-month project. It said construction “is expected to support between 250 and 350 direct and indirect jobs, with a direct financial impact estimated to exceed $25 million.”

The companies said Southern Arkansas Technical University in Camden has been invited to help train workers for the project.

In addition to AECC, Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorp. (NYSE: GY) company based in Sacramento that operates a 1,200-acre facility in the park, will also purchase power from the solar field. Aerojet Rocketdyne is a rocket and missile propulsion systems manufacturer that works with the U.S. Department of Defense.

The 17,000-acre Highland Industrial Park is the state’s largest. Its tenants include Lockheed Martin of Bethesda, Maryland, which is trying to win a multibillion contract with the U.S. military to make a replacement vehicle for the Humvee. Legislators last week approved an $87 million incentive package to help the company compete.

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