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    TSC will Harness the Sun's Power

    Tractor Supply Company Store with Solar Panels

    Solar power may seem like a recent development, but for thousands of years, the sun has provided all of the power needed by farmers and ranchers to raise crops and animals. So, by installing systems to collect solar energy at the SSC and at Store 132 in Hendersonville, Tenn., Tractor Supply is looking forward to the future while giving a nod to the Out Here lifestyle of years past.

    The project is being headed up by TSC's Manager of Energy Solutions, James Masters. The SSC and Store 132 were both selected in a lottery through the Tennessee Valley Authority as recipients of subsidies to help offset the cost of installing the two 50-kilowatt solar arrays. Once installed, the solar panels will collect and convert energy that is sold back to the utility to offset power costs.

    "We're generating renewable energy," said James, "and in turn, we're reducing the volume of greenhouse gases, and shrinking our overall carbon footprint."

    TSC hopes to share that information with customers. Inside the Hendersonville store, customers will see a flat panel screen showing real time power generation from the solar array. To show the impact, that information will be displayed by comparing the energy savings to the number of cars taken off the road, or the amount of greenhouse gases eliminated.

    "This is the first step of a long journey," James continued. "These experiences will guide us in future endeavors in both stores and distribution centers."

    "The decisions to install solar power arrays at the new SSC and our Hendersonville store represent a major step forward for our Stewardship Program," said Ben Parrish, senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary.

    The plans for the SSC and Store 132 are taking shape. Site visits, drawings, and plan submittals are in the works, and Hendersonville will be commissioned before the end of January, with the SSC hopefully following soon after. Once all plans are approved, installation should take less than 60 days.

    When it is operational, the solar array at the Hendersonville store will produce up to 20 percent of the annual energy used by the store. This represents a large savings, but also the potential to do something great for the environment.

    "This gives TSC the opportunity to dip our toe into solar power on a limited basis and with limited risk in terms of installation and operation," said James. "We're very excited to see how it works."