Largest solar farm in Mississippi breaks ground in Sumrall


SUMRALL, Miss. - Mississippi Power and Origis Energy held a groundbreaking ceremony for its largest solar facility in the state.

When operational the $100 million facility will have a capacity of 52 MW and will generate enough electricity to power 8,000 homes.

Mississippi Power mentioned the Lamar county facility will not replace other Mississippi Power generating plants, but have the capability to provide energy that will diversify the company's portfolio.

Vice President John Atherton of Mississippi Power said, "Being involved with renewable energy is very exciting and it should be very exciting for our customers."

The new solar farm will lower bills for consumers because of its low energy costs and it will create 100 jobs during construction.

District 5 Supervisors, Dale Lucas said, "You will have the crews to come in and do the grubbing and moving stomps and debris, and at that point you will have the construction coming in and setting the solar panels."

President of Origis Energy, Johan Vanhee said Mississippi's sun is the perfect place to generate green energy.

"Our industry is still in growth and we will only improve, not only in the technical efficiency but also in the economical efficiency" said Vanhee.

The ultimate goal for Lamar county is to attract outside corporations to bring its business to the Pine Belt.

Area Development Partnership President, Chad Newell said, "Its creating a nice economic impact in itself, and having green energy on the grid is incredible."

Newell said the solar facility will help business recruitment efforts. "There are a lot of corporations that want to locate in areas with green energy on the grid" said Newell.

Vanhee said the company will soon break ground with another facility in South Mississippi.

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