Gulfport Seabee base generating solar power for South Mississippi

The Department of Navy and Mississippi Power on Tuesday cut the ribbon a 15-acre, $7 million solar facility at the Naval Construction Battalion Center.

This is Mississippi Power’s first solar project in its 92-year history. To have it in the company’s hometown of Gulfport and on the Seabee base makes it special, said Anthony Wilson, CEO of Mississippi Power. “It is a historic day for us,” he said.

The panels are now feeding energy into the Mississippi Power grid. The facility is not directly tied to the bases’s distribution system, said Tony Smith, renewable project manager for Mississippi Power, and it’s not enough to operate the entire base. But he said a connection could be made if the need arose due to a national security emergency or a hurricane or other natural disaster.

The 13,000 solar panels provide 3.29 megawatts, or 4 megawatts DC, which he said is enough to power about 450 homes and goes a long way toward meeting the Navy’s gigawatt goal.

“Mississippi Power makes no capital investment,” he said. Under a 25-year operating agreement, “Mississippi Power simply buys the power.”

Hannah Solar and WGL Energy invested in and built the solar facility on…

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