The Mississippi Public Service on Tuesday approved a solar and battery storage facility in Walnut Grove, in Leake County.

The small utility-scale solar facility, which will be owned and operated by Mississippi Power Co., will produce 1.285 megawatts of clean, carbon free solar energy.

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 protect 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,” Central District Commissioner Brent 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.

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