Progress continues at company’s solar farms

Progress continues at company’s solar farms

Mississippi Power’s investment in renewable energy is closer to full operation as synchronization testing continues at the company’s solar farm in Sumrall.

When the 590-acre, 52-MW utility-grade solar generation station officially goes online this summer, it will be the largest utility-scale solar facility in the state.

Combined with two other solar projects, a 50-MW facility near Hattiesburg and a 3-MW solar farm located at the Naval Construction Battalion Center (Seabee Base) in Gulfport, Mississippi Power will become the state’s largest partner in renewable energy with a solar output of 105 MW — enough energy to power 15,500 homes for a year.

“We energized the Sumrall facility through the company’s new 115kV interconnection line and substation,” said Tony Smith, Mississippi Power Renewable Energy project manager. “This represents the successful achievement of a key milestone toward commercial operation of the facility. Provided all testing is successful and goes as planned, commercial operation is scheduled to begin mid-June.”

The partnership between Mississippi Power, D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments, the Area Development Partnership, Lamar County and DEPCOM Power will substantially increase the amount of solar-powered generation in Mississippi.

For the Sumrall and Hattiesburg projects, the company’s Transmission team built 115kV lines and interconnection substations which were paid for by the solar developers.

“The Sumrall facility was energized from our grid on May 18 and began testing energy output to the grid on May 24,” Joe Herndon, Transmission Projects supervisor said. “The Hattiesburg facility was energized on May 31 and is scheduled to begin testing energy output to the grid in early June.”

A site dedication ceremony is planned at the facility on July 7.

Near Hattiesburg, work continues at the 460-acre solar facility. That project is a partnership between Mississippi Power, Silicon Ranch, Strata Solar, Forrest County, the city of Hattiesburg and the Area Development Partnership.

“Construction at the Hattiesburg solar farm continues to see steady progress,” Smith added. “If the schedule permits, the facility could be in full operation later this summer.”

A site dedication at the 37-acre solar facility located at the Gulfport Seabee Base is set for July 11.

Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy for nearly 187,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. Mississippi Power ranked first in the Southeastern Electric Exchange’s 2016 Safety Performance Reports and is consistently recognized as an industry leader in reliability, customer service and safety. Visit our websites at www.mississippipower.com and www.mississippipowernews.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on TwitterLinkedInGoogle+ and YouTube.