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Harnessing the Sun to Power the Future: Construction Begins on DeSoto Solar Site

07/07/2015

"Bright Future" pilot project includes three locations in Magnolia state

JACKSON, Miss. -- Construction is underway on the second of three Entergy Mississippi solar pilot installations in the state, this one in DeSoto County. The installations are the first-ever utility-owned solar projects in Mississippi.

The fixed-tilt solar array will produce 500 kilowatts of electricity once up and running, and will help Entergy answer some of the many questions about solar while giving customers access to this renewable energy source.

"This project will help us answer questions about the economics of solar power, and how efficient or feasible it will be at various locations in Mississippi," said Aaron Hill, Entergy Mississippi manager of asset management and planning. "Spreading the sites across the state will help us understand locational differences, capacity factor, different weather patterns and irradiance at different locations."

The project, at an approximate cost of less than $5 million for all three sites, is a     collaborative effort with Stion Corporation, which manufactures solar panels in Hattiesburg.

Construction on the first solar array, a ground-mounted system that tracks the sun's movement throughout the day, began in June at Entergy's Hinds Generating Facility in   Jackson. A third fixed-tilt solar array will be built in Lincoln County.

Combined, the three sites will provide 1,500 kilowatts of electricity (500 kW each), which is enough to power the equivalent of 175 homes. All three sites are expected to be     operational before the end of the year. The projects will include real-time data monitoring that will be linked to Entergy Mississippi's website for all to view.

The "Bright Future" Solar Pilot Project is part of the "Bright Future" plan, a blueprint for Mississippi's electric service needs through 2025. The plan, approved by the Mississippi Public Service Commission, is designed to improve reliability, modernize the grid, maintain an adequate workforce, stabilize rates, use new technologies and attract new industry.

Entergy Mississippi, Inc. provides electricity to approximately 442,000 customers in 45 counties. It is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation. Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including nearly 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation's leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $12 billion and approximately 13,000 employees.

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