Cooperative Energy Awards Nearly $400,000 in Grants to Support Economic Development in Mississippi


Cooperative Energy, together with the 11 Member electric distribution cooperatives it serves, invested $397,275 in strategic economic development efforts across the state in 2023.

The grant funds were awarded as part of the Cooperative Competes program which provides funding for proactive site and community development, with the goal of attracting new capital investment and jobs to the region.

“Continued participation in the Cooperative Competes program is evidence of the vital role our Members play in our state,” said Jeff C. Bowman, Cooperative Energy president and CEO. “Our grant fund allows many of our most rural areas to leverage local, state, and federal support, overall enhancing their viability and capacity to attract economic growth.”

In 2023, the following grants were awarded for community and economic development efforts:

Jones County – A $50,000 grant was awarded to assist the Jones County Economic Development Authority complete clearing of the I-59 South Industrial Site in Ellisville. The site is served by Dixie Electric.


The Jones County Economic Development Authority also received a $10,000 grant to support the creation of a strategic plan for the organization.

Jones/Forrest Counties – A $10,000 grant was awarded to support marketing initiatives of the I-59 Supply Chain Park, located adjacent to Interstate 59 at the entrance to the Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport. The I-59 Supply Chain Park is served by Dixie Electric.

Claiborne County – A $5,000 grant was awarded to support Claiborne County’s Summer Work STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) program for graduating and incoming high school seniors.

The Port of Claiborne County was awarded a $17,500 grant to support the local match for the Mississippi Development Authority’s Site Development Program. The site development grants were used to predesign, engineer, and update environmental due diligence to develop a riverside boat landing with hopes of accommodating the Mississippi River cruise ship industry. Claiborne County is within Southwest Electric’s service territory.

Harrison County – $10,000. The Harrison County Development Commission was awarded funds for the SEA Force (Skills. Experience. Adventure.) career exploration program which involves partnerships with local high school juniors and seniors and businesses to match students with career pathways in the region. Harrison County is within Coast Electric’s service territory.


Greene County – $15,000. Funds were awarded to complement a portion of the local Greene County match for the Mississippi Development Authority site development grant program. The grant will complete environmental due diligence and site work at the remaining 20 acres in the Greene County Industrial Park, which is served by Singing River Electric.


Jackson County – $26,400. Grant funds were used to update environmental due diligence and mitigate wetlands at the Helena Industrial Complex, an 80+ acre industrial property with direct rail access to the deepwater Port of Pascagoula. The Helena Industrial Complex is served by Singing River Electric.


Coahoma County – $100,000 was awarded for economic development project support in the county. The grants complemented project commitments by the Mississippi Development Authority and the Delta Regional Authority. Coahoma County is served by Coahoma Electric.


Simpson County – $3,375. A Cooperative Competes grant was awarded to assist the Simpson County Development Foundation’s completion of due diligence at the Simpson County Business Park, served by Southern Pine Electric.


Bolivar County – $15,000 was awarded as a portion of the local match for the Mississippi Development Authority’s Site Development Program. The site investment funds were used for environmental due diligence and water and sewer capacity analysis for a 20-acre site at the Cleveland Municipal Airport. The site is located northeast of the runway, has all utilities on site, and is served by Delta Electric.


Pearl River Community College (PRCC) – Coast Electric and Pearl River Valley Electric jointly invested $50,000 in the Pearl River Community College Utility Lineman Technology Program. The investment will help build a better classroom and training facility that will allow PRCC to accept a larger number of students and meet the growing workforce demand.


Delta Council – $50,000. A grant was awarded to the Delta Council to support a third-party study of healthcare facilities in the Delta. Delta Council represents 19 Mississippi Delta counties, served in part by Coahoma Electric, Delta Electric, Twin County Electric, and Yazoo Valley Electric.


Pearl River County – $25,000 was awarded for environmental due diligence studies of the 30-acre Pearl River County Technology Park, just north of NASA’s Stennis Space Center. The grant was to assist Pearl River County with a portion of the local match for the Mississippi Development Authority’s Site Development Program through which they received another $50,000 for the project.


Additionally, the County received a $10,000 grant to support a feasibility study for a new Multipurpose Facility within the county. Coast Electric serves a majority of Pearl River County.


The Cooperative Competes initiative, aimed at increasing product and community competitiveness, was unveiled in early 2019. A component of the initiative allows economic development organizations to apply for grant funds to offset industrial property development costs or invest in other community and economic development efforts. These funds are provided jointly by Cooperative Energy’s 11 Member electric distribution cooperatives.

Since the program’s inception, 60 Cooperative Competes grants totaling over $2.2 million have been awarded across 28 counties in the state.

For more information about Cooperative Competes or the economic development efforts of Cooperative Energy, visit


About Cooperative Energy
Cooperative Energy generates and transmits electricity to 11 Member-owned electric distribution cooperatives. Known as the Power of 12, Cooperative Energy and its Member cooperatives work together to provide safe, reliable and affordable power from the Mississippi Delta to the Coast. The 11 electric cooperatives own and maintain more than 58,000 miles of distribution lines and provide service to more than one million Mississippians throughout 55 counties.