Bredesen, Farr & Kisber Partner in ‘Silicon Ranch’ Venture

Former Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr has been laying the groundwork for a new company involving solar energy that would position him, Gov. Phil Bredesen and the state’s top economic development official to profit from an industry they have spent more than two years trying to build up in Tennessee, reports Chas Sisk.
Farr, Bredesen and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matthew Kisber have created a company, Silicon Ranch Corp., that will engage in what Farr described as “a new model for deploying solar across the U.S.”
Bredesen, Farr and Kisber said Wednesday they have worked to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.
“Reagan was trying to figure out what he wanted to do,” Bredesen said. “He’s somebody that is very sensitive, as am I, to any appearance of a conflict of interest.”
But the company was set up as a Delaware corporation in August before Farr stepped down from his position as one of the state’s top two economic development officials. Farr reserved the company’s name with the Tennessee secretary of state in July.
Silicon Ranch also is subleasing office space from a company, Pathway Lending, that routinely partners with the state on economic development deals. Farr also has begun working to line up deals for Silicon Ranch.
Farr confirmed the plans Wednesday, saying that Bredesen is playing a passive role as an investor in the venture. Corporate records for Silicon Ranch show Bredesen is the chairman of the company, Kisber its president and Farr the vice chairman and secretary.

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