Origis breaks ground on Mississippi’s second big solar project

Mississippi is on a roll, and so is Origis Energy. Five months after the D.E. Shaw put online Mississippi’s first large solar project at 52 MW-AC, which it had purchased from developer Origis Energy, Origis has begun construction of a second 52 MW-AC project.

Because the identical sizes were not confusing enough, both the Sumrall 1 and Sumrall 2 projects are located near the town of Sumrall in southern Mississippi (population 1,005).

Origis plans to complete the Sumrall 2 project sometime in July. The project holds a contract with Cooperative Energy, which is an electric cooperative in Mississippi that buys power on its own behalf as well as that of 11 other co-ops. Cooperative Energy will buy the full output of the project, which will comprise over 200,000 PV modules.

Cooperative Energy first began buying power from PV plants last year, starting off with five projects 100 kW or smaller in Mississippi. The cooperative says that its recent push into solar comes from its members.

“Our members have told us they want more renewable energy in our portfolio,” said Jim Compton, Cooperative Energy’s president and CEO. “So we are responding to our members, and also providing clean, affordable energy.”

Cooperative also buys power from coal, nuclear, hydro and gas plants, and says that this mixture allows it to minimize fuel price risks from any one source. This would include natural gas, which in recent years has seen record low prices but which has traditionally shown significant price volatility, and which has became the single largest source of U.S. electricity generation.