Alabama Municipal Electric Authority (AMEA) and Lightsource BP announced the development of a 130 MWDC / 100 MWAC solar energy project in Montgomery County, Ala. Lightsource BP will finance, develop, build, own, and operate the solar facility and will deliver energy to AMEA under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA).
The project, situated 15 miles from AMEA’s headquarters in Montgomery, will supply clean energy to AMEA’s 11 Member utilities located across the state and will generate enough electricity to power more than 20,000 homes.
The project 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. Lightsource BP and project investors will invest approximately $125 million into the solar facility. In addition to providing clean energy and bill savings to AMEA’s Members and their customers, the project will contribute over $5 million in property tax revenue to county schools over the 35-year project life.
“I am grateful that another company is investing significantly in Montgomery,” said Montgomery County Commission Chair Elton Dean. “This project will provide considerable support to Montgomery County schools, dollars the school systems otherwise would not receive. 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.”
In addition to this project in Alabama, Lightsource BP has executed solar power purchase agreements with other public agencies across the U.S., including the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Continental Divide Electric Cooperative, Mid-Kansas Electric Company, and Pennsylvania State University.
“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, Chief Executive Officer (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. We applaud AMEA for taking the lead in delivering the many benefits of solar energy to its customers.”
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.
— Solar Builder magazine