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Mississippi Power, Silicon Ranch break ground on new solar energy facility

GULFPORT, Miss., April 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Mississippi Power and Silicon Ranch Corporation, along with local officials from the city of Hattiesburg, Forrest County and the Area Development Partnership, held a groundbreaking ceremony for the state's largest solar farm today in Hattiesburg.

When operational, the $100-million facility will generate 50 MW, enough electricity to supply power to approximately 6,500 homes.

Members of the Mississippi Public Service Commission were also on hand for the ceremony, held at the Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg.

"This is the second of three major solar projects that have been approved by the Public Service Commission, demonstrating Mississippi Power's continuing commitment to cost-effective solar development," said Mississippi Power President and CEO Anthony L. Wilson. "The Pine Belt region is one of the hubs of economic development in the state and our investments in renewable energy here will contribute to future growth."

"We are committed to having a well-balanced energy portfolio, and are proud to work with Silicon Ranch, Forrest County, the city of Hattiesburg and the Area Development Partnership to make that happen," Wilson added.

In May, Mississippi Power and Origis Energy will break ground on a 52-MW utility-scale solar project in Sumrall. In March, Mississippi Power, the U.S. Navy and Hannah Solar broke ground on a 3-4 MW solar project at the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport, Miss.

The Hattiesburg solar farm will be on 450 acres and will feature more than 600,000 solar panels. The project will create approximately 400 jobs during construction.

"Silicon Ranch is proud to work with Mississippi Power, the city of Hattiesburg, Forrest County, and the Area Development Partnership to bring this important renewable energy project to south Mississippi," said Silicon Ranch President and CEO Matt Kisber. "As long-term owners of this solar project, as well as several others across Mississippi, we are excited about the economic and environmental benefits it will bring to the community, the surrounding region, and the state."

Silicon Ranch will fund, own, and operate the project and has selected Strata Solar to build it. Mississippi Power will receive all the energy produced at cost-competitive rates over the next 25 years. Mississippi Power will...


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