Alabama Municipal Electric Authority (AMEA) and Lightsource BP have announced the development of a 130 MW solar energy project in Montgomery County, Ala.
Lightsource BP will finance, develop, build, own and operate the facility, which will deliver energy to AMEA under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA). Comprising more than 350,000 solar panels across 800 acres, the project is expected to reach completion in 2021.
The project, situated 15 miles from AMEA’s Montgomery headquarters, will supply clean energy to AMEA’s 11 member utilities across the state. It is expected to generate enough electricity to power more than 20,000 homes.
“AMEA is excited to bring cost-effective, locally sourced solar energy to our member communities,” says Fred Clark, president and CEO of AMEA. “We evaluated solar projects across the Southeast and were fortunate to partner on a great project with Lightsource BP right here in our own backyard.”
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 its 35-year life.
“This project will provide considerable support to Montgomery County schools – dollars the school systems otherwise would not receive,” notes Elton Dean, Montgomery County Commission chair. “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 PPAs with other public agencies across the U.S., including the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Continental Divide Electric Cooperative, Mid-Kansas Electric Co. and Pennsylvania State University.
Though 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, to date, has completed eight. In addition, it completed a 50 kW solar research facility adjacent to its headquarters in 2016.