South Mississippi Electric Adds to its Solar Energy Portfolio


Cooperative will purchase all electricity from renewable energy facility developed by Origis Energy USA

(July, 2015) Hattiesburg-based South Mississippi Electric (SME) today announced plans to grow its renewable energy portfolio through an agreement with Origis Energy USA, with electricity to be generated at a 52MW solar energy facility near Sumrall in Lamar County.

Origis will design, develop, install and operate the electric generation site, and SME will purchase all power produced at the location. The project is expected to be operational by December 2016.

Solar is considered a clean energy technology as the electricity is produced via sunlight collected by photovoltaic panels.

This agreement comes on the heels of SME’s announcement in May that it would build five smaller solar installations (100kW or less) at five Electric Power Association member locations — Coahoma, Coast, Delta, Southern Pine and Singing River electric power associations. Those solar generation sites are expected to be completed in first quarter 2016.

“For many years, our goal for generation facilities has been fuel diversity,’’ said Jim Compton, SME’s general manager and CEO. “Today we announce a new goal, to move beyond fuel:  to add generation that does not require fossil fuel. Our members overwhelmingly want us to diversify our energy to include renewables, and we are responding.”

“Origis is honored to team up with SME on this utility scale solar project,” said Origis Energy President Guy Vanderhaegen. “Our team has received great support from the local community, the authorities and SME in the development of this project. The solar facility is a new cost effective renewable energy source for SME and the Members they serve. We are excited to break ground later this year.”

South Mississippi Electric is a not-for profit cooperative that generates, transmits and sells wholesale electric energy to 11 distribution cooperatives that deliver the electricity to 419,000 customers, or members. Collectively the group is known as the Power of 12.

SME has a diverse energy portfolio that includes natural gas, coal, nuclear and hydropower (another renewable). The broad mix allows the company flexibility to minimize the impact of any significant increases in the cost of a single fuel source. For more information about South Mississippi Electric or future updates on this project, please visit

About South Mississippi Electric and the Power of 12

The Power of 12 is South Mississippi Electric and 11 electric cooperatives working together to provide safe, reliable and affordable power from the Delta to the Coast. These 11 electric cooperatives own and maintain approximately 56,900 miles of distribution lines and provide service to approximately 419,000 homes and businesses throughout 55 counties.

About Origis Energy

Origis Energy is a specialized developer of and investor in both utility-scale and distributed generation photovoltaic (PV) projects throughout the Americas and Europe. The core business of the company is the development or acquisition, construction, financing and operation of solar PV projects. In the U.S., Origis Energy has a pipeline of over 400MW in solar for construction and operation before end of the year 2016. For more information, visit the company online at

Origis Energy Media Contact
Julieta Melgar
(848) 213-5374