Construction is complete on a 100-MW solar project near Ruleville in the Mississippi Delta — the first plant the state’s upcoming expansion of renewable power, says Entergy Mississippi. The Sunflower Solar Station is the largest solar installation in Mississippi, utilizing single axis trackers with 272,000 PV modules, and it provides enough energy to power 16,000 homes. The utility has 461,000 customers.
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Sunflower is also one of the first utility-scale solar projects to be constructed under a Build Transfer Agreement in the United States.
Recurrent Energy, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canadian Solar, Inc., developed and built the Sunflower Solar Station for Entergy Mississippi, which will own it for the life of the facility. Recurrent Energy signed a BTA with Entergy Mississippi in 2018 designating the regulated utility to own the Sunflower Solar project when it reached commercial operation. The BTA was approved unanimously by the Mississippi Public Service Commission in April 2020.
“Sunflower is our first build-own-transfer project and our first project in Mississippi,” stated Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Office of Canadian Solar. “We look forward to supporting the growth of solar throughout the southeast United States, and repeating this model which provides additional value for our customers.”
Signal Energy LLC served as the Engineering, Procurement and Construction provider. The Sunflower Solar Station employed Mississippi vendors and construction workers. Attala Steel Industries, based in Kosciusko, supplied 2,475 tons of steel for foundations. Additionally, A-1 Kendrick Fence Company, based in Jackson, installed the perimeter fence. More than half of the labor hours spent on the project’s construction were from workers local to the area and surrounding counties.
Under a program called EDGE, for “Economic Development with Green Energy,” Entergy plans to replace some aging natural gas plants with 1 GW of renewable energy over the next five years. The renewable energy plant sits on approximately 1,000 acres in Sunflower County and connects to Entergy’s transmission grid in Ruleville.
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