Gulfport, Miss. – The Mississippi Public Service Commission approved the largest solar installations in Mississippi today, making Mississippi Power the largest partner in renewable energy in the state.
Mississippi Power is collaborating with three solar energy businesses and the U.S. Navy to build 105 MW of utility-scale solar electric generating farms at three different locations in the company’s service territory.
“These cost-effective, utility-scale solar energy projects once again place Mississippi Power at the forefront of the state’s energy economy by adding renewable energy into the company’s portfolio,” said Mississippi Power President Anthony Wilson. “Working together with our partners, these projects will have a substantial impact on the amount of electricity generated by renewables in Mississippi.”
Together, these new solar facilities can produce the amount of energy used annually by approximately 15,500 homes.
“Origis is honored to team up with Mississippi Power on this utility-scale solar project,” said Origis Energy President Guy Vanderhaegen. “Our team has received great support with the development of this project. We are honored by the trust and confidence Mississippi Power and the Mississippi Public Service Commission have given to this exciting solar project and Origis.”
The developers of the solar energy projects will finance each installation with Mississippi Power receiving all of the energy and associated renewable energy credits generated by the projects. The energy and RECs may be used to serve customers with renewable energy, for future renewable energy programs or to sell at wholesale to third parties. The power will be purchased through long-term purchased power agreements with the developers.
“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.”
The projects include:
• Mississippi Power and Strata Solar are partnering on a 450-acre, 50-MW electric solar generating station to be located in Hattiesburg.
• The company is also partnering with Origis Energy on a 52-MW utility-scale solar energy project to be located in Sumrall.
• Mississippi Power, Hannah Solar, and the U.S. Navy are partnering on a 23-acre, 3-4-MW solar project to be located at The Naval Construction Battalion Center (Seabee Base) in Gulfport.
“Strata Solar is looking forward to working with Mississippi Power on our Hattiesburg solar project,” said Strata Solar CEO Markus Wilhelm. “Working with utilities to competitively and substantively diversify their power generation is a big part of our passion for this industry. We are thrilled to be getting this project under way.”
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 and help keep rates affordable for customers.
Construction on all three projects is slated to begin in early 2016.
Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy for more than 186,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. Mississippi Power earned the 2015 ReliabilityOneTM Award for outstanding midsize utility for excellence in storm restoration and recovery efforts as well as being a leader in reliability, customer service and safety. Visit our websites at mississippipower.com and mississippipowernews.com, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube .
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:
Certain information contained in this communication is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning the development, construction, and subsequent operation of the solar projects currently in development by Mississippi Power Company. Mississippi Power Company cautions that there are certain factors that can cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Mississippi Power Company; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Mississippi Power Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: the ability to control costs and avoid cost overruns during the development and construction of generating facilities, to construct facilities in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses, to satisfy any operational and environmental performance standards, including the requirements of tax credits and other incentives, and to integrate facilities into the Southern Company system upon completion of construction; and potential business strategies, including acquisitions or dispositions of assets or businesses, which cannot be assured to be completed or beneficial to Mississippi Power Company. Mississippi Power Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information.