Mississippi Power adds another solar project to growing portfolio

Mississippi Power said May 4 that it is expanding its renewable generation portfolio with an agreement to team on another utility-scale solar electric generating farm, this time with solar provider Origis Energy.

Mississippi Power, which is a subsidiary of Southern Co. (NYSE: SO), and Origis are working to develop a 52-MW solar project on 485 acres in Sumrall, Miss., pending approval by the Mississippi Public Service Commission. Mississippi Power will receive all of the energy and associated renewable energy credits generated by these 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.

“Adding a third renewable project continues the company’s commitment to having a diverse generation portfolio to help keep rates affordable for our customers,” said utility President and CEO Ed Holland. “This cost-effective, utility-scale solar energy project once again places the company at the forefront of the state’s energy economy.”

“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, and we’re excited about its possibilities.”

This announcement comes on the heels of an April 23 agreement by the utility with two solar companies and the U.S. Navy to build utility-scale solar farms at two different locations in the company’s service territory. Combined at 105 MW, these projects would represent the largest solar installations in Mississippi. Mississippi Power is partnering with Strata Solar on a 450-acre, 50-MW solar station to be located at Hattiesburg-Forrest County Industrial Park in Hattiesburg, and with the U.S. Navy and Hannah Solar on a 23-acre, 3-4-MW facility at the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport.

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 Mississippi Public Service Commission, the projects could be in service near the end of 2016.

Mississippi Power produces safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy for more than 186,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.