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Mississippi Power announces solar projects

solar-panelMBJ staff

Mississippi Power plans to become the second major utility in the state to announce a solar project of limited scope, it said in a news release.

It is partnering with two solar businesses and the U.S. Navy to build two generating farms to produce approximately 53 megawatts,  enough  to power 7,800 homes, according to the utility’s Friday release.

If approved by the Public Service Commission, the projects could be in service by the end of 2016.

Entergy recently began work in Hinds County on the first of three pilot solar projects that its says together will furnish enough power for 7,500 homes. The Hinds County project being done by Stion Corp. of Hattiesburg will be followed by ones at Lake Cormorant (DeSoto County) and Brookhaven (Lincoln County). The north Mississippi location had previously been at Senatobia in Tate County.

“The way they are designed and built, if they do come out to be beneficial, we can go bigger with them,” Entergy President and Chief Executive Haley Fisackerly said when the projects were announced in January.

Mississippi Power and Strata Solar of Chapel Hill, N.C.,  plan to develop a 50-megawatt  project on 450 acres at the Hattiesburg-Forrest County Industrial Park.

The utility also is partnering with the Navy and Hannah Solar of Atlanta at the Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport on a 23- acre facility.

As an intermittent energy resource, the solar facilities will not replace Mississippi Power’s generating plants,  which serve more than 186,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties.

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