Canadian Solar Inc.’s wholly owned subsidiary Recurrent Energy LLC has successfully completed the construction on a 100 MW renewable solar power plant near Ruleville in the Mississippi Delta, providing clean energy to Entergy Mississippi’s 461,000 customers. The Sunflower Solar Station in Mississippi is the largest and most efficient solar installation. It provides enough energy to power 16,000 homes.
Recurrent Energy built the Sunflower Solar Station in Mississippi for Entergy Mississippi. It will remain with Entergy Mississippi for the entire life of the facility. The Sunflower project is the first utility-scale solar project to be built under a Build Transfer Agreement. Entergy Mississippi and Recurrent Energy signed a BTA in 2018 to designate Entergy Mississippi as the regulated utility that will own the Sunflower project once it is commercially operational. In April 2020, the Mississippi Public Service Commission unanimously approved the BTA.
“It’s a historic day for Entergy Mississippi, our customers and our state,” says Haley Fisackerly, Entergy Mississippi’s president and CEO. “Powering communities is the heart of our business, and this power station does that in several ways – by providing clean, green power to customers and a hedge against rising natural gas prices and giving industries with renewable energy goals an incentive to locate or expand operations in our state.”
“We are proud to have completed the largest solar project in Mississippi on behalf of Entergy in a way that has supported Mississippi businesses and paved the way for more renewable energy in the state,” said Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Office of Canadian Solar. “Sunflower is our first build-own-transfer project and our first project in Mississippi. 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.”
The Sunflower project is the first plant in what will be the largest expansion of renewable power in the state’s history. Entergy Mississippi is implementing a program called EDGE (for Economic Development with Green Energy). It plans to replace some aging natural-gas plants with 1,000 MWs of renewable energy in the next five year.
Sunflower workers and Mississippi vendors were employed in the project. Attala Steel Industries, located in Kosciusko supplied 2,475 tonnes of steel for foundations. A-1 Kendrick Fence Co. was also 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. Signal Energy LLC was the EPC provider.
The emissions-free, renewable energy plant sits on approximately 1,000 acres in Sunflower County and connects to Entergy’s transmission grid in Ruleville. The plant has 272,000 PV modules and is a single-axis tracking photovoltaic generator.
Entergy Corp. announced in 2021 plans to triple its renewable energy portfolio within three years. Entergy plans to have 11,000 MW renewable energy generation by 2030.