One of the largest solar facility in Mississippi will be located in Scott County and construction should begin by early next year. The facility will be located in the northwest corner of the county between Doc Webb Road and Hwy 483.
Central District Commissioner Brent Bailey held a public hearing in Forest last week on the proposed facility and approved the project, issuing an order that provides the owners of the facility a certificate of public convenience and necessity, which is required for any power-generating facility.
The Pearl River Solar Park, which will be located on 1,760 acres and will generate 175 megawatts of electricity and the customer will be the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, the regional transmission operator (MISO).
Approval by MISO is likely due this December and an unnamed customer will buy the power from MISO.
“There’s been a lot of interest in the state,” Bailey said. “We have good land prices, good infrastructure to interconnect to and to have access to varying markets such as the MISO market and the TVA market. I think we’re situated well to be attractive to investors.”
The estimated cost of the project is $235 million and construction will take about 12 to 15 months. It will be owned by EDP Renewables North America, an energy firm based in Houston, TX.
“This project will be one of the largest solar projects to be approved in the state of Mississippi,” Bailey said. “Mississippi has great potential and sufficient resources to be a lead state in producing and providing cost-competitive renewable energy to its citizens and the region. This solar project in Scott County is another step forward in demonstrating that potential.”
The facility will include 450,000 to 575,000 ground mounted photovoltaic panels. The panels will be mounted via steel racking, single-axis tracking systems and interconnected via AC/DC inverters that connect the project to a step-up transformer and onto the grid at 115kV.
The park is expected to go online in 2023.