Cooperative Energy's new solar energy plant in Lamar County is expected to produce power all over Mississippi.
"Power from that generation station is sent to our 11 member distribution owners of Cooperative Energy," Vice President of Power Supply Gary Hutson said. "From there it's sent to 427,000 in use customers."
Customers across our state are benefiting from the new solar panel energy, including people in the Pine Belt.
"So, in the Pine Belt most of that energy is used here locally in the greater Hattiesburg area, Sumrall area," Hutson said. "This goes out to all of our residential, business and industrial customers. So, everyone gets a share."
Hutson said, in total, it serves 55 counties in Mississippi.
"It's environmentally friendly, it's no carbon producing generation on our system," he said.
The site sits on 540 acres and consists of 206,000 individual solar panels. Hutson said its cutting-edge technology is being used to generate environmentally friendly power. The panels are proven to withstand during inclement weather.
"The solar panels are rated to withstand golf ball size hail, and that can be at about 60 miles per hour," Hutson said.
During those times of bad weather, the solar panels are connected to a sensing monitor that turns the panels to protect against severe storms.
"Cooperative Energy is excited about this particular solar plant," Hutson said. "We are going to be able to serve our members for many years to come with clean renewable energy."
The plant started generating electricity in December 2017.