JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — One of the largest electricity providers in Mississippi said Wednesday that it intends to shut down some aging natural gas power generating plants over the next five years and expand its use of renewable energy sources such as solar power.
Entergy Mississippi said in a news release that it will add 500 megawatts of renewable power by 2025 and another 500 megawatts by 2027. The company said renewable sources currently make up less than 1% of its power generating capability. That would grow to about 17% by 2025 and almost 33% in 2027.
Entergy Mississippi is calling its expansion of renewable sources EDGE, which stands for Economic Development with Green Energy.
“Adding more renewable energy will put Mississippi communities in a better position for industrial recruitment, while also diversifying our power generation portfolio at a time of rising natural gas prices,” Entergy Mississippi president and CEO Haley Fisackerly said in the news release. “Along with the nuclear power provided by Grand Gulf, this would give our customers diverse, sustainable, reliable, clean and affordable power for years to come.”
Natural gas now makes up most of the company’s power generation capabilities. Entergy Mississippi has six natural gas power generating plants in the state. The two oldest opened in 1967 in Vicksburg and in 1975 in Greenville. The news release Wednesday did not say which of the six plants could shut down.
Entergy Mississippi's partner, Recurrent Energy, broke ground in August on a 100-megawatt solar facility in Sunflower County that will provide power to about 16,000 homes. It is scheduled to open next year.
Entergy Mississippi said it will start seeking proposals for renewable projects in early 2022. The company would ask the Mississippi Public Service Commission to review and approve the projects.