Groundbreaking ceremony for solar facility held at NAS Meridian

The Department of the Navy (DON), Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), East Mississippi Electric Power Association (EMEPA) and Silicon Ranch Corporation (Silicon Ranch) broke ground May 25, on a solar generation facility at Naval Air Station (NAS) Meridian, Mississippi.

Approximately 51,000 solar photovoltaic panels will be installed on land leased from the DON. The facility will generate up to six megawatts of direct current power. Silicon Ranch will fund, build, own, operate and maintain the facility, which is expected to be completed in 2018. 

Notable ceremony presenters included Capt. Scott Bunnay, commanding officer, NAS Meridian; John Kliem, executive director, DON’s Resilient Energy Program Office; Steve Noe, Renewables Manager, TVA; Randy Carroll, CEO, EMEPA; Matt Kisber, president and CEO, Silicon Ranch; and Mississippi Public Service Commissioners Cecil Brown and Brandon Presley. 

“Partnerships, like the one between the Department of the Navy, TVA, EMEPA and Silicon Ranch make us stronger and better equipped to complete our mission,” said Bunnay. “NAS Meridian’s success in effectively managing energy resources has been recognized at the highest levels of the Navy, and efforts like the solar project, to diversify energy sources help bases become more resilient and secure.”

The facility will provide power to the grid for consumption by TVA and EMEPA customers, including NAS Meridian. In exchange for the use of on-base land for the solar facility, NAS Meridian will receive in-kind consideration in the form of electrical infrastructure upgrades, microgrid controls and access to the onsite solar energy generation during utility outages, thus, increasing the energy resiliency and security of the base.

“TVA is committed to being a trusted energy partner as part of our mission of service to the Valley,” said Noe. “The solar installation at NAS Meridian is a great example of how renewable energy sources can provide clean, local generation as a fully integrated part of the larger power system.”

“EMEPA has been a partner of NAS Meridian for nearly 59 years and we continue to support their efforts in improving their viability,” said Carroll. “This in turn aids in the growth of our community.” 

“Silicon Ranch is honored to partner with the Department of the Navy, TVA and EMEPA on this important solar energy project,” said Kisber. “Forward-thinking organizations like the U.S. Navy have an opportunity to drive positive change, and the leadership for each of our partners on this project deserves tremendous credit for their vision and commitment to bring cost-effective, renewable power to NAS Meridian and to Lauderdale County.”

Adding cost-effective alternative energy provides fuel diversity and increases regional energy resiliency and security. 

“Projects like this prove that we can achieve multiple savings and benefits for the people of Mississippi and enhance the national security of America while enhancing military bases in our state,” said Commissioner Presley. “This is a win-win project. Using cost effective solar power is using common sense.”

“The MS Public Service Commission is proud to be a part of today’s ribbon cutting for this important project,” said Brown. “We commend the Navy for leading the way in making renewable energy a reality for supplying our military with power.”

The DON continues to improve readiness, combat effectiveness and flexibility through initiatives that focus on energy reliability, resiliency and efficiency.

EMEPA hosts 4th Annual Shoot For A Cure

Sixty-five teams gathered at Camp Binachi in Lauderdale County on Friday, March 31 for East Mississippi Electric Power Association’s Fourth Annual Shoot For A Cure event. Through this annual clay shooting event, EMEPA employees and supporters raised nearly $20,000 for the American Cancer Society. “This event not only gives us the opportunity to enjoy a…Continue Reading

Building a strong future through Mississippi’s brightest students

    The Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi held its 31st Annual Youth Leadership Workshop Feb. 22-24 in downtown Jackson. Each year, approximately 1,000 of Mississippi’s brightest students vie for the opportunity to attend the three-day workshop in the state capital through their local electric cooperative. This year was the largest group to date with 83…Continue Reading

EMEPA employees provide meals across east Mississippi

East Mississippi Electric Power Association employees recently donated enough canned goods and nonperishable food items to provide 288 meals to those in need across our service area. The items were collected throughout the month of January and recently delivered to Lauderdale, Clarke, Kemper and Winston counties Baptist Associations for distribution. Concern for community is a…Continue Reading

Meeting the challenge through the storm

By Randy Carroll, CEO The weekend of January 20 and 21 challenged electric cooperatives across Mississippi. East Mississippi Electric Power Association personnel worked most of both nights restoring power to members throughout our service territory. All through the night, these dedicated employees worked to remove trees from power lines, repair damage and restore power to…Continue Reading

Our mission and member focus remains unchanged

By Randy Carroll, CEO A new year always provides thoughts of new beginnings, opportunities and excitement about the future. That is especially true for me. On January 12th, I begin serving as CEO/General Manager of East Mississippi Electric Power Association. Wayne Henson, retiring CEO/General Manager, has been a friend and mentor to me. Thank you,…Continue Reading

EMEPA welcomed new Co-op Connections Businesses in 2016

East Mississippi Electric Power Association welcomed these new participating businesses to the Co-op Connections Card program in 2016. Visit these local businesses with your Co-op Connections Card to receive special savings just for being an EMEPA member. For a complete list of participating businesses and discounts offered, visit Connections.coop. Affordable Carpet Care, Quitman Barbara’s Place,…Continue Reading

EMEPA offices close due to weather conditions

East Mississippi Electric Power Association offices will close at 1 p.m. today due to weather and driving conditions. Dispatchers will remain on duty and crews and other personnel will remain on standby to respond to outages as necessary. They may be reached by calling 601.581.8600. “We encourage our members to stay indoors and off the…Continue Reading

Henson’s final thoughts after 43 years

For 43 years EMEPA has been my professional focus. It has been my privilege to help build EMEPA’s physical plant, its expertise, its financial strength, its political acumen and a family of dedicated and gifted personnel. East Mississippi is my home. I have given my time and efforts in an attempt to strengthen the community,…Continue Reading