$125 million solar project heading to rural Montgomery County
A utility-scale solar project, developed with a $125 million investment, is planned for rural Montgomery County.
The project from Alabama Municipal Electric Authority (AMEA) and Lightsource BP will be one of the largest solar arrays in Alabama when it reaches completion in 2021, deploying over 350,000 solar panels across 800 acres.
“AMEA and Montgomery County have been excellent partners for Lightsource BP, and we look forward to our continued collaboration as we bring this exciting project online in the coming years,” said Kevin Smith, CEO (Americas) of Lightsource BP.
“Alabama offers tremendous potential for large-scale solar, and our efforts here underscore the exciting opportunity to develop clean, low-cost, and low-impact renewable energy in the region,” he added.
The Montgomery array is the latest in a string of solar projects across Alabama.
Lightsource BP will finance, develop, build, own, and operate the 130 MWDC / 100 MWAC solar energy project located 15 miles from AMEA’s headquarters in Montgomery. AMEA will purchase the energy under a 20-year power purchase agreement and supply clean energy to its 11 member utilities located across the state.
The facility will generate enough electricity to power more than 20,000 homes.
“AMEA is excited to bring cost-effective, locally-sourced solar energy to our Member communities,” said Fred Clark, president and CEO of AMEA. “We evaluated solar projects across the Southeast and were fortunate to partner on a great project with Lightsource BP right here in our own backyard.”
Lightsource BP and its project investors will invest approximately $125 million into the solar facility. The firm has deployed $3.4 billion in solar assets over the past six years and manages solar projects with a capacity of 2 GW.
In addition to other benefits, the project will contribute more than $5 million in property tax revenue to county schools over the 35-year project life, according to the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce.
“This project will provide considerable support to Montgomery County schools, dollars the school systems otherwise would not receive,” said Montgomery County Commission Chair Elton Dean.
“This is a major economic development project for the rural part of our county and will bring in a strong corporate partner in Lightsource BP.”
While the facility will be AMEA’s largest solar project to date, it is not the organization’s first. The electric authority is currently in the process of installing 50 kW solar research projects in each of its member communities and has completed eight so far.
AMEA has been studying solar energy since 2016 when it completed its initial 50 kW solar research facility immediately adjacent to its headquarters.
(Courtesy of Made in Alabama)