Alabama municipal utility moves forward with 100MW solar farm

first_imgAlabama municipal utility moves forward with 100MW solar farm FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Montgomery Advertiser:In Montgomery County, 800 rural acres will soon be home to a massive 350,000-panel solar array. The project, a partnership between local utility company Alabama Municipal Electric Authority and Lightsource BP, will bring a large-scale, utility-sized solar development to the River Region. Utility leaders say several recent factors have made solar power a realistic energy source, and they expect others to follow suit shortly.“Our mission is to provide low-cost reliable electric power to our member cities at the lowest possible cost that we can,” said Fred Clark, president and chief executive of AMEA. “We search for economic resources and study those daily with a group of engineers that we have, both on staff as well as consultants that we reach out to.”That research yielded what AMEA believes to be a feasible and forward-thinking project in the solar field. The deal with Lightsource, a partnership itself under British Petroleum, will bring 100 megawatts of solar energy into AMEA’s “energy portfolio.”Everything will be built and maintained by Lightsource, with AMEA only buying the energy and selling it to different municipalities and utilities in areas like Opelika and Tuskegee. AMEA has 13 utility affiliates across the state, though none in Montgomery. The benefit for the county will be the over $5 million in property taxes to be collected over the lifetime of the project, which will go to Montgomery’s cash-strapped school system.Clark said AMEA may be jumping on the solar train earlier than some others — moving its percentage of energy generation by solar from 1 percent to 10 percent — but he expects others to join in the near future.More: Montgomery-based electric authority closes deal on 350K solar panel arraylast_img

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