Yesterday, a solar developer Silicon Ranch Corporation and Mississippi Power utility held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new 50 MW PV plant in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The solar farm will feature more than 600,000 solar panels spread over the area of more than 182 hectares.
The project represents an investment of US$100 million. It will create approximately 400 jobs during construction. Once completed, the solar farm in Hattiesburg is expected to supply power to approximately 6,500 homes.
"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," Mississippi Power President and CEO Anthony L. Wilson said at the ceremony. "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."
The solar farm will be built by a turnkey solar provider Strata Solar chosen by Silicon Ranch, who will fund, own, and operate the farm. Mississippi Power will receive all the produced energy over the next 25 years, as well as all associated renewable energy credits. The facility is expected to be connected to the grid by early 2017.
To date, the PV plant in Hattiesburg is the largest solar project that is being constructed in the state. However, in May 2016, Mississippi Power and a solar developer Origis Energy are planning to break ground on a 52 MW PV project in Sumrall, Mississippi.