Mississippi Power building 1.5-MW solar, 5-MWh energy storage combo site

State utility regulators have approved plans by Mississippi Power to develop and build its first-ever stand-alone solar energy and battery storage system.

The Mississippi Public Service Commission signed off on the utility’s project to construct and operate the new solar-storage site in Walnut Grove. The 1.5 MW-solar array will be paired with a 5-MWh battery storage system.

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Mississippi Power, a unit of Southern Co., will use the facility to demonstrate advanced solar photovoltaic panels and battery technologies. Part of the goal is looking at the feasibility of a possible microgrid project in the area.

“This facility will be a valuable research and demonstration project that will help determine if these new concepts improve cost effectiveness for our customers, and provide knowledge that can be applied to future applications as these technologies continue to advance,” said Renewable Energy Program Manager Allison Little. “This solar and battery storage facility will expand Mississippi Power’s energy portfolio and further our commitment to deliver safe and reliable energy to the communities we serve.”

The Walnut Grove project represents a total investment of $7.8 million in Leake County and is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2022.

Mississippi Power previously provided more than 155 MW of solar capacity to customers through power purchase agreements. The Walnut Grove project would be its first to develop and build outright.

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Energy Storage Breakthroughs is one of the content tracks happening at POWERGEN International Jan. 26-28 in Dallas. The POWERGEN Call for Abstracts is now open and seeking session ideas on projects like this.

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