Mississippi Power breaks ground on Silicon Ranch solar project

Southern (NYSE:SO) utility Mississippi Power and Silicon Ranch Corp. have broken ground on the 50-MW, $100m Silicon Ranch solar project in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

The facility will be able to generate enough electricity to supply power to about 6,500 homes. Members of the Mississippi Public Service Commission were also on hand for the ceremony, held at the Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg.

“This is the second of three major solar projects that have been approved by the Public Service Commission, demonstrating Mississippi Power’s continuing commitment to cost-effective solar development,” said Mississippi Power President and CEO Anthony L. Wilson. “The Pine Belt region is one of the hubs of economic development in the state and our investments in renewable energy here will contribute to future growth.”

  • In May, Mississippi Power and Origis Energy will break ground on a 52-MW utility-scale solar project in Sumrall.
  • In March, Mississippi Power, the U.S. Navy and Hannah Solar broke ground on a 3-MW to-4 MW solar project at the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport.

The Hattiesburg solar farm will be on 450 acres and will feature more than 600,000 solar panels. The project will create approximately 400 jobs during construction.

Silicon Ranch will fund, own, and operate the project and has selected Strata Solar to build it. Mississippi Power will receive all the energy produced at cost-competitive rates over the next 25 years. Mississippi Power will also receive all associated renewable energy credits, which it may use to either serve its customers with renewable energy, use for future renewable energy programs, or sell at wholesale to third parties. 

The solar project is slated to be complete by early 2017 and once operational, the power will be placed on the Mississippi Power grid.

The Hattiesburg 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.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.