Hattiesburg-based Cooperative Energy recently announced plans to grow its renewable energy portfolio through an agreement with Renewable Energy Systems (RES), with electricity to be generated at a 100 megawatt solar energy facility near Greenwood in Carroll County.

The parties have executed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) whereby RES will design, develop, install and operate the electric generation site, and Cooperative Energy will purchase all power produced at the location. Cooperative Energy is a not-for-profit, Member-owned generation and transmission cooperative that supplies electricity to 11 Member cooperatives that stretch from the Gulf Coast to the Tennessee line.

Solar is considered a clean energy technology as the electricity is produced via sunlight collected by photovoltaic panels.

The 652-acre site is located six miles east of Greenwood. Once complete, the facility will encompass approximately 363,000 panels. Construction of the facility is anticipated to create 350 construction jobs at its peak, and some permanent jobs in the future, with an emphasis on hiring qualified local labor when possible. The project is expected to be operational by 2022.

“Our continued investment in utility-scale solar generation represents a significant commitment to our members to provide them with affordable, reliable, and environmentally-friendly electricity,” said Jim Compton, Cooperative Energy’s president and CEO. “Delta’s Edge will be the largest solar generation plant in Mississippi and will employ the most advanced solar technology available.”

Cooperative Energy approved its first member-owned (residential) solar systems in 2010, and began operating five solar-powered electrical stations in 2016 in Taylorsville, Lucedale, Kiln, Greenwood and
Lyon. Cooperative Energy currently has a PPA to purchase all power produced at a 52MW site located in Lamar County near Sumrall.

“We’re excited to work with Cooperative Energy and are pleased to help bring solar energy to its members,” said Graham Reid, RES’s CEO for the Americas. “We look forward to working with the local community in Carroll County to create jobs and economic opportunities.”