Stion and Silicon Ranch are celebrating the completion of Mississippi’s largest commercial solar facility to date sourced with Mississippi made modules. The 3.9 MW facility, which uses Stion’s “Simply Better” solar panels manufactured in Hattiesburg, MS, will be located in Chickasaw County. The construction of the solar farm created approximately 75 jobs, with over half hired from the local labor pool.
The facility, which is owned and operated by Silicon Ranch, will provide enough low-cost, carbon-free electricity to help power more than 400 homes and businesses. Chickasaw County has the third-largest manufacturing capacity in the state of Mississippi, and such savings will help keep local businesses competitive and help drive economic development in the region.
Over the lifetime of Silicon Ranch’s investment, the project will generate tax revenue from property taxes and generation for local governments. In addition, Silicon Ranch will provide funds to Mississippi State University and Houston High School to train students in engineering, manufacturing, installation, and operation of solar sites in Mississippi.
The Public Service Commission of the Northern District of Mississippi, led by Commissioner Brandon Presley, reiterated “Houston, Mississippi has long been a solar-centered city with the great work at Houston High School. This solar project will provide carbon-free energy and continued inspiration for these hardworking students while making us more energy independent!” The Houston Solar Car Team has won the 14 of the last 15 challenges, beating out all other high school teams from across the nation at the annual event held in Austin, TX.
The Mississippi-made panels use CIGS-technology, which outperform other types of solar panels, particularly in hot climates due to an industry leading temperature coefficient. The panel’s design also has a unique cell structure that limits production losses due to shade.
By the end of the year Stion’s factory will be able to produce 150MW of its “Simply Better” Solar modules on an annual basis. The factory currently employs 110 people in Hattiesburg, MS, the majority of which live in Forrest and neighboring counties. ” As Mississippi adopts more solar power, selecting Stion’s “Simply Better” solar technology will increase system performance and overall returns for the project as well as ensure reinvestment in the state’s economy ” added Justin Redd, Director of Southeast Sales for Stion.