Supercross legend Jeremy McGrath goes full-throttle at Thing Valley Ranch

In the early 1990s, Jeremy McGrath took the dirt bike world by storm, riding his way to becoming the “King of Supercross” and arguably one of the greatest dirt bikers of all time. After retiring from Supercross competition in 2007, McGrath began focusing on other forms of motorsports, like off-road and stock car racing and mentoring the next generation of AMA Supercross riders.

As a seven-time AMA Supercross champion, the California native has assembled more than 100 career wins, 12 overall championship titles and a spot in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

Battery banks, electrical controls and a backup generator all make sure the lights stay on at Thing Valley Ranch.

Battery banks, electrical controls and a backup generator all make sure the lights stay on at Thing Valley Ranch.

Off the map

When he’s not seeking his daily adrenaline rush, McGrath is relaxing in his off-grid ranch deep in the hills of Southern California. The 700-acre, aptly named Thing Valley Ranch is nearly off the map and entirely off the grid, producing its own water and electricity.

The ranch is equipped with enough solar to power multiple buildings, including houses, an impressive garage, horse stable and watering hole for post-ride drinks.

The details


Mark Snyder Electric was hired to replace the ranch’s first, smaller solar system after one of its inverters caught fire (not an SMA inverter, of course). After examining the ranch’s power needs and the demand for system reliability, Snyder recommended an AC-coupled, split-phase system using four Sunny Island 6048-US inverters and two Sunny Boy 5000-US inverters, producing 21,900 kWh annually.

Sunny Islands are the brains behind the ranch's power supply, ensuring things run smoothly.

Sunny Islands are the brains behind the ranch’s power supply, ensuring things run smoothly.

“I believe SMA makes the best products in the world for micro-grid systems, especially for applications where a customer, such as Jeremy, might wish to expand in the future,” said Snyder. “We discussed the superiority and flexibility of the AC-coupled SMA inverters and the Sunny Island’s ability to accept more solar as the ranch expands.”

Snyder also installed 85 Kyocera Solar 130-watt modules to feed power to the inverters. The system sends its excess solar power into a 7,000 amp-hour Unigy battery system by Deka with two Kohler diesel generators on standby.

Only the best

McGrath is a world-class competitor and the caliber of athlete that brings only his best to everything he does. Whether he’s racing on two wheels or four, the only option is winning. It’s no surprise that when he bought Thing Valley Ranch and its existing solar system failed, he went with SMA. When you expect the best, there’s only one option.

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