A partnership in East Mississippi could bring clean, renewable energy to East Mississippi Electric Power Association members in the upcoming year.

The Department of the Navy, Silicon Ranch Corporation, EMEPA, the Mississippi Public Service Commission and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) will bring a solar-generating facility to the area with about 51,000 solar panels at a location at the Naval Air Station Meridian. The project was announced at a groundbreaking Thursday.

The project will not use taxpayer money, which officials credit to the partnership between private and public entities. Instead, Silicon Ranch will develop, build and operate the facility on 38 acres of land leased from the air station.

The TVA will buy the generated power from Silicon Ranch and then resell that energy to EMEPA. If necessary, NAS Meridian will be able to divert the power directly to the base.

John Kiliem, executive director of the Department of Navy’s Resilient Energy Program Office, praised the partnership that will help NAS Meridian maintain a reliable, resilient and efficient energy resource.

“Our prosperity is directly tied to our maritime security, and that starts here with the training of pilots,” Kliem said. “This is a shining beacon of our relationship with energy partners.”
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