D.E. Shaw begins construction on a 52 MW solar project in Mississippi

By Thomas R Machnitzki (thomas@machnitzki.com) - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29614197

D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) has purchased the 52 MW Mississippi 2 Solar project from Origis DevCo.

Located in Sumrall, Miss., a town with 1,005 residents near Hattiesburg, project construction on Mississippi 2 started under DESRI’s supervision. The company expects the project to be completed by the second quarter of 2017. Mississippi Solar 2 will be among the largest solar projects in the state

Mississippi Power Company (MPC) will purchase the power from the plant for 25 years and is expected to generate roughly 130 million kilowatt hours of power each year – enough clean energy to power approximately 9,000 homes — 22 times the number of houses in Sumrall.

DEPCOM Power, a Scottsdale, Ariz., based engineering, procurement and construction contractor will build the plant using Hanwha Q CELLS solar panels, SMA inverters and NexTracker single-axis trackers. Once the project is completed, DEPCOM will provide ongoing operations and maintenance services.

A syndicate of lenders led by Santander Bank, which also included Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank and Siemens Financial Services, financed the project. CitiBank will handle the tax-equity financing.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, Mississippi installed 90 kW of solar in 2015 and has 1.1 MW installed overall, which is enough to power 110 homes. The Open PV Project by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory ranks Mississippi 41st in the nation in installed solar capacity (excluding Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

The Mississippi 2 project itself will add 50 times more capacity and will power nine times as many homes. It will also move Mississippi to 20th in the nation in installed capacity.