For full article see Utility Dive, 12 November 2015.

Solar hasn’t taken off in Mississippi as it has in other states. In particular, there has been contention over Mississippi’s lack of a net metering policy, which the state’s biggest utilities — Mississippi Power and Entergy Mississippi — oppose. The current PSC has until the end of the year to make a decision before newly-elected commissioners take their positions, the Mississippi Business Journal reports.

However, these last few months have seen activity from utilities in the state interested in the resouce at grid scale. Last month, Entergy Mississippi brought the first of three pilot solar arrays online as part of its ten-year plan. That 500 kW solar project became the first utility-scale solar installation in the state. Now, the Public Service Commission (PSC) this week approved three solar farms for Mississippi Power, which would be the largest installations in the state when complete, according to the utility.

“These cost-effective, utility-scale solar energy projects once again place Mississippi Power at the forefront of the state’s energy economy by adding renewable energy into the company’s portfolio,” the utility’s president, Anthony Wilson, said in a statement. “Working together with our partners, these projects will have a substantial impact on the amount of electricity generated by renewables in Mississippi.”

The projects include:

  • Mississippi Power and Strata Solar are partnering on a 450-acre, 50-MW electric solar generating station to be located in Hattiesburg
  • The utility is also partnering with Origis Energy on a 52-MW utility-scale solar energy project to be located in Sumrall
  • Hannah Solar, the U.S. Navy and the utility are partnering on a 23-acre, 3 MW to 4 MW solar project to be located at The Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport