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Mississippi’s largest solar facility begins generating power

Mississippi’s largest solar power installation is now making electricity.

Mississippi Power Co. is contracted to buy electricity for 25 years from the $100 million Lamar County facility, owned by D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments.

Leaders of D.E. Shaw and Mississippi Power, as well as former U.S. Sen. Trent Lott, gathered Friday to dedicate the 600-acre facility, which began sending electricity to the grid last week.

The Sumrall facility has about 220,000 solar panels and can generate 52 megawatts of electricity, enough power for 8,000 homes.

Mississippi Power is also buying electricity from a 50 megawatt facility near Hattiesburg, a 3 megawatt Gulfport facility, and is supporting a proposed facility near Meridian.

Officials with Mississippi Power, a unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co., say they view solar power as part of their portfolio.

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