HATTIESBURG, MS – Cooperative Energy and Origis Energy USA today announced the installation of the first solar power panels at the 540-acre solar site located near Sumrall in Lamar County. Construction began in April on the 52 MW solar energy facility, which will provide clean energy to the generation and transmission cooperative’s 423,000 members across Mississippi. Origis Energy has developed, is constructing, and will operate the electric generation site. Cooperative Energy will purchase all power produced at the location.

At completion of the facility in December 2017, the site will encompass approximately 200,000 photovoltaic solar panels. Installation of solar panels represents a major milestone in the facility’s construction schedule. Final stages include solar power panels and inverter installation and interconnection and commissioning.

Solar generated electricity is part of the diverse energy portfolio for Cooperative Energy and its members.

“Our members have told us they want more renewable energy in our portfolio,” said Jim Compton, Cooperative Energy’s president and CEO. “The project provides a significant amount of solar energy to power the homes and businesses we serve. So we are responding to our members, and also providing clean, affordable energy.”

“Cooperative Energy has employed a studied approach to its solar facilities development to serve its members for many years to come,” said Guy Vanderhaegen, chief executive officer and president of Origis Energy USA. “It is exciting to see the panels installed at the Sumrall site. This milestone represents a culmination of the dedication Cooperative Energy has shown on behalf of its members to solar energy investments benefiting all stakeholders.”

Cooperative Energy started its solar energy investments in 2016 with five smaller solar installations (100kW or less) at Member locations across the state—Coahoma (Lyon), Coast (Kiln), Delta (Greenwood), Singing River (Lucedale), and Southern Pine (Taylorsville) electric power cooperatives. This approach allowed for the determination of the best locations, technologies and proper configurations for future solar facilities, ensuring alternative energy investments are sound, economical and successful for its members.