Brookhaven solar station complete

Published 9:26 am Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Photo by Luke Horton / Brookhaven is just one of three locations where Entergy Mississippi will be testing out solar panel technology.

Photo by Luke Horton / Brookhaven is just one of three locations where Entergy Mississippi will be testing out solar panel technology.

Entergy Mississippi recently announced the completion of its Brookhaven solar station, which will be used to harness the sun’s energy to help fuel Mississippi’s power grid.

At a recent Brookhaven Board of  Aldermen meeting, Entergy Customer Accounts Manager Bill Howard invited the board and the city of Brookhaven to the Bright Future Solar Project Brookhaven station dedication ceremony April 14.

The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. at the solar station on W. Manufacturers Boulevard.

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“I would like to announce to you that Entergy’s Brookhaven solar station is now complete and online and producing electricity,” Howard said. “Even as of (Tuesday) afternoon, we were producing over 430 KW and over 2,200 kilowatt-hours — just today. You can actually see the production on the solar site — actually all three locations.”

Howard said the Entergy Mississippi website tracks the production of each site and provides a real time monitor for where the energy from the solar station is traveling.

Entergy received permission from the Mississippi Public Service Commission to install three 500,000-watt solar panel farms in the state in December 2014.

“Brookhaven was selected as one of three sites that Entergy Mississippi has piloted in the state for the 500 KW solar project,” Howard said.

Brookhaven was chosen as the site for the southern location. Jackson serves as the central location and DeSoto County as the northern location. Each site will test different methods and provide data for Entergy on how varying conditions and regions affect energy output. The solar panels in Brookhaven and DeSoto County are fixed in place, while the ones in Jackson tilt to follow the sun during the day.

Howard said the state currently gets its energy from natural gas, coal from Arkansas and nuclear power in Port Gibson, but as technology continues to improve and the solar power market continues to increase the state and Entergy are looking for new ways to generate power.

Stion Corporation in Hattiesburg provided solar panels for the $4.5 million project. The three sites combined are expected to provide electricity for approximately 175 single-family residences.

All of this is part of what Entergy is calling its Bright Future plan.

“The Bright Future plan is a blueprint for Mississippi’s electric service needs through 2025,” an Entergy press release said. “The plan, approved by the Mississippi Public Service Commission, is designed to improve reliability, modernize the grid, maintain an adequate workforce, stabilize rates, use new technologies and attract new industry.”