The company will add 1,000 MW of solar and other renewable energy
Entergy Mississippi is making its biggest commitment to renewable resources.
The company plans to replace some old natural gas plants with 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy, such as solar, over the next five years. Called EDGE for “Green Energy Economic Development,” the strategy is twofold: to give Mississippi an edge in the recruiting industry while offering Entergy’s customers effective hedge against volatile natural gas prices.
An Entergy statement announcing the plans states that one of the biggest benefits a state can have in attracting jobs and economic development today is a significant amount of renewable energy. States that are unable to provide a large amount of renewable energy are generally eliminated from site searches by companies seeking to locate or expand. Entergy says their plans will help meet that demand and increase Mississippi’s competitiveness on the economic development front.
“The EDGE plan will provide great benefits to the customers and communities we serve,” said Haley Fisackerly, president and CEO of Entergy Mississippi. “Having a significant amount of renewable energy is as important to large companies as the tax and government incentive structure, site availability and the workforce.”
Fisackerly says adding more renewable energy will put Mississippi communities in a better position for industrial recruiting, while also diversifying the company’s power generation portfolio at a time of rising natural gas prices.
“Coupled with the nuclear power supplied by Grand Gulf, this would give our customers diversified, sustainable, reliable, clean and affordable energy for years to come,” added Fisackerly.
Under the EDGE plan, Entergy Mississippi would add 500 MW of renewable energy to its portfolio by 2025 and another 500 MW by 2027. This would increase renewable energy as a percentage of the company’s total power generation portfolio by less than 1 % to 17% in three years and almost a third in just five years. This increase would give Entergy Mississippi the fastest growing renewable energy portfolio in the state and one of the fastest in the country.
Currently, natural gas makes up the bulk of the company’s power generation portfolio. Communities will also see the benefits of new construction jobs and new tax revenues as a result of locally building these renewable power plants.
Governor Tate Reeves is quoted in the company’s statement that the plan will help recruit new commercial investments for the state.
Entery’s EDGE plan will help Mississippi in its efforts to become energy independent and increase the already wide range of energy options available to customers, the governor said. Tate Reeves. “Entergy’s new power generation plan will help put Mississippi in an even better position to recruit job creators and contribute to our state’s economic growth.”
All three Mississippi public service commissioners also support the company’s efforts to bring more renewable energy to Mississippi residents, according to the Entergy release.
“It is clear that economic development across the nation is moving faster by the day to states that harness and develop clean, renewable energy. The fact is, we cannot expect to compete in the modern economy without a strategy to provide the business community with clean, renewable energy. I appreciate Entergy’s efforts to develop this great project and look forward to the successes it will bring, “said Northern District Commissioner Brandon Presley.
“The nationwide transition to a cleaner and more diverse power generation portfolio is undeniable. Many factors are driving this change, including the desire on the part of public and private sector customers to access renewable energy resources. My office will work with Entergy Mississippi to ensure these new energy resources are addressed responsibly in a timely manner and in a way that improves reliability and accessibility, ”said Central District Commissioner Brent Bailey.
“With my business and economic development background, I am always on the lookout for projects and programs that bring jobs and economic benefits to our Mississippi communities. I would like to commend Entergy Mississippi for their commitment to providing additional renewable energy options for consumers through their EDGE plan, “said PSC President and Southern District Commissioner Dane Maxwell.
Entergy Mississippi says it will begin issuing requests for proposals for more renewable projects in early 2022. The company would then bring the finalized plans to the Mississippi Public Service Commission for review and potential approval later in the year.
“We look forward to working with the Mississippi Public Service Commission and Mississippi Public Utilities Staff to implement this plan, and with the Governor and the Mississippi Development Authority to spread the word to business leaders around the world who this renewable energy will soon be available in Mississippi, “Fisackerly said.
Entergy Mississippi notes that it is already in the process of replacing some of the energy produced by recently retired natural gas plants with renewable energy. The company’s partner, Recurrent Energy, started a 100-megawatt solar plant in Sunflower County in August that will power approximately 16,000 homes when it goes into service next year.