Mississippi Power and Origis Energy, along with officials from the Area Development Partnership and Lamar County, held a groundbreaking ceremony for what will be the state’s largest solar facility.
When operational, the $100-million facility will generate 52 MW, enough electricity to power approximately 8,000 homes. Mississippi Power will receive all energy and associated renewable energy credits produced by the facility, which it may use to serve customers with solar energy or sell to third parties for the benefit of customers.
“This is an exciting day for all of Mississippi,” said Mississippi Power President and CEO Anthony L. Wilson. “By working with Origis Energy and the Area Development Partnership, we will have nearly doubled the amount of electricity generated by renewable energy going to the Mississippi Power grid.”
Members of the Mississippi Public Service Commission and local officials were also on hand for the ceremony, held at the Canebrake Country Club.
In April, Mississippi Power and Silicon Ranch Corporation broke ground on a 50 MW utility-scale solar facility in Hattiesburg. In March, Mississippi Power, the U.S. Navy and Hannah Solar broke ground on a 3 MW solar project at the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport, Miss. Like the Lamar County project, Mississippi Power retains the flexibility to use the energy and RECs from these facilities to serve customers or to offer them to others for the benefit of customers.
The Lamar County solar facility will be on 590 acres and will feature more than 215,000 polycrystalline solar panels. The project will create up to 100 jobs during construction. It is scheduled to be completed first quarter of 2017 and will have a 25-year power purchase agreement with Mississippi Power. Throughout the PPA term, the energy generated from this project will provide power at a steady price and will not be subject to price variation seen with other fuel sources.
“This historic state solar facility is a clear indication of the commitment Mississippi Power, the state of Mississippi and Lamar County officials have to their customers, community and the Pine Belt region,” said Chief Executive Officer & President of Origis Energy Guy Vanderhaegen. “By working together, these utility and community leaders are creating regional jobs. Our Origis team is honored to be part of the solar revolution now happening in Mississippi.”
Lamar County Supervisor Dale Lucus said, “This solar project is a great fit for Lamar County and the tax revenue from the project will greatly benefit the county and the local school system. We appreciate Origis Energy’s investment here in this great county and we look forward to partnering with them for many years on the largest solar installation in the state of Mississippi.”
The Lamar County facility will not replace other Mississippi Power generating plants, but will have the capability to provide energy that will help diversify the company’s generation portfolio.