During a hearing immediately following the April 6 Open Docket Meeting, the Mississippi Public Service Commission voted unanimously to approve a solar + battery storage facility in Walnut Grove, within Leake County.

The small utility-scale solar facility, which will be owned and operated by Mississippi Power Company, will produce 1.285 megawatts of clean, carbon free solar energy for Mississippi Power Company’s customers. It will also have battery storage capacity of 5.14 megawatt-hours of electricity for those same customers and could support a future micro grid for the Walnut Grove area which would isolate the town from outages on the larger grid. The project represents a total investment of $7.8 million in Leake County and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2021.

“The project represents Mississippi Power Company’s first ever stand-alone solar development and construction project and even represents the first battery energy storage at this scale in Mississippi being developed by a utility company. I’m excited to see this solar project move forward and the benefits it will bring to Mississippi Power customers – particularly those customers in Walnut Grove,” Commissioner Bailey said. “It will also provide a valuable demonstration of combined solar generation and battery storage, which advances this important technology for Mississippi and the region.”

Another matter voted on by the Commission includes the unanimous vote to designate four companies as Eligible Telecommunications Carriers. This will allow the four companies to receive federal funds to support the deployment of high-speed internet service to customers across Mississippi.

“This week, I will be traveling to Greenwood, Columbus and Meridian to announce the release of federal funds in these areas,” Commissioner Bailey said. “These funds will provide broadband in rural areas, mostly outside city limits, who have faced significant challenges due to the lack of high-speed internet service while trying to work, seek medical attention or participate in distant learning. I look forward to signing the orders on Wednesday and Friday to bring fast and reliable internet to thousands of homes and businesses.”

Furthermore, another item on the agenda introduced a review of Entergy Mississippi’s membership in Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO). Entergy Mississippi has been a member of MISO for eight years. This item is a review of how MISO has performed and how Entergy Mississippi has performed within MISO. In addition, this review will investigate the long-term costs and benefits of Entergy Mississippi being a member and seeks comments from a broad range of stakeholders.

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Release from PSC Commissioner Brent Bailey.