LAMAR COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) — In Lamar County, the largest solar power plant in the state of Mississippi is now operating and providing energy to Mississippi power users.
The facility sits on 600 acres which has 220,000 solar panels on it.
The Mississippi Public Service Commission realized other states in the south were already using natural resources as energy.
“If you look at the studies of the energy resources of solar power as far as the nu,ber of days of sunshine, the acrege that’s available and the light,” said Mississippi Public Service Commission Chairman, Brandon Presley. “Mississippi is right there with Georgia and there’s no reason we’re not catching up with them.”
Now, that the Lama County Solar Energy Facility is up and running, it is a step in the right direction according to all the partners involved — DEPCOM Power, D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments, Mississippi Power, Mississippi Power and Extra Table.
“Over 8,000 homes can be recipients of the power that’s generated on an average day here from this facility,” said CEO of DEPCOM Power, Jim Lamon.
According to Lamon, the Sun strikes the panel and over 20 percent of the Sun’s energy that is striking it is converted into DC Energy.
“Mother-nature makes DC Energy. Some of the stations you’ll see throughout the plant convert that power to AC Energy, which then transmits to the grid and then you can consume it in your homes here in Mississippi,” said Lamon. “Solar power has now become economical, so, the rate payers don’t have to pay extra, they actually pay less.”
Officials say the Pine Belt region is the center for large scale utility solar in the state.
Mississippi Power President and CEO, Anthony Wilson added, “We have not only this site, we have another large site just down the road in Hattiesburg, and then a little further south we have the facility at the CB Base in Gulfport.”
To build the solar facility, it took seven months.
Former United States Senator Trent Lott is a supporter of bringing the natural resources to and across the state. “Going forward I think it’s going to help us with our needs.”
Mississippi Power has proposed another solar power facility in Lauderdale County. Once approved, the company will have around 160 mega watts of solar enrgy in the state – which is enough to serve around 23,000 homes.