Mississippi Power announces plans for largest utility-scale solar projects in the state
April 23, 2014 Gulfport, Miss. – Mississippi Power is partnering with two solar businesses and the U.S. Navy to build utility-scale solar electric generating farms at two different locations in the company’s service territory. With a combined total of approximately 53 megawatts, together these projects would represent the largest solar installations in Mississippi. “We are excited to be a part of this partnership to develop cost-effective, utility-scale solar generation to enhance our portfolio,” said Mississippi Power President and CEO Ed Holland. “Together these new solar facilities can produce the amount of energy used annually by approximately 7,800 homes. We look forward to bringing these projects to completion following approval by the Public Service Commission.”
Mississippi Power will receive all of the energy and associated renewable energy credits generated by the projects, which it may use to serve its customers with renewable energy, use for future renewable energy programs, or sell at wholesale to third parties.
Mississippi Power and Strata Solar, a turn-key solar provider, are working to develop a 50 MW solar project located on 450 acres at Hattiesburg-Forrest County Industrial Park located near Hattiesburg. “Strata Solar is thrilled to be working with Mississippi Power on the project in Hattiesburg,” said Strata Solar CEO Markus Wilhelm. “Working with utilities to diversify their generation portfolios in a competitive manner with their traditional resources is a big part of our passion for what we do as a company. We are looking forward to getting this project under way.”
In addition to the Strata solar project, Mississippi Power also is partnering with the U.S. Navy and Hannah Solar at the Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport on a 23-acre, 3-4 MW facility. The project is part of the Navy’s efforts to meet the Secretary of the Navy’s goal to produce or procure one gigawatt of renewable energy. “This innovative project represents a significant, cost-effective contribution toward the Navy's forward-leaning efforts to improve our national energy resilience through renewables,” said Capt. Paul Odenthal, commanding officer Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport. “It is the result of much hard work and the strong relationship we have with our many community partners. We are happy to be part of this win-win initiative.” “We’re delighted with the cooperative spirit in which the project came together,” said Pete Marte, Hannah Solar CEO. “Mississippi Power, Southern Company, the U.S. Navy, and Hannah Solar have created a first-class project for all parties and the people of Mississippi.”
As an intermittent energy resource, the solar facilities will not replace Mississippi Power’s generating plants, but will have the capability to provide energy that will help diversify the company’s generation portfolio.
If approved by the PSC, the projects could be in service by the end of 2016.