Lightsource bp and the Alabama Municipal Electric Authority marked the completion of the 130-MCDC/100-MWAC Black Bear Solar project. This project is one of Alabama’s largest solar farms and will bring sustainable energy to AMEA’s 11 municipal utilities.
Located 15 miles from AMEA’s headquarters, Black Bear will deliver solar energy to AMEA under a 20-year power sales agreement from Lightsource bp. The project acts as a hedge against price volatility in the natural gas market while saving AMEA a minimum of $40 million over the initial 20-year power contract.
“AMEA is saving money with a home-grown, renewable resource that helps us provide dependable, economical power to our communities,” said Fred D. Clark, Jr., President and CEO of AMEA. “Combined with a fixed price contract for electricity from Black Bear Solar for the next 20 years, we’re building more long-term stability and diversity into our energy portfolio.”
Black Bear Solar was built using more than 280,000 ultra-low carbon solar panels manufactured by Arizona-based First Solar, solar trackers manufactured by New Mexico-based Array Technologies and foundational piles manufactured by Mississippi-based Attala Steel. More than 400 people worked to construct the facility, the majority of whom were local workers.
“This project is a great example of how solar is a job engine for Americans,” said Kevin Smith, CEO of Lightsource bp Americas. “Black Bear Solar created hundreds of U.S. jobs across the supply chain, supporting domestic manufacturing and helping build long-term careers for our clean energy future.”
The Black Bear Solar project is in commissioning and currently generating electricity into the grid and will be fully operational in November 2022.
“We are grateful to AMEA and Lightsource bp for their significant announcement in Montgomery and congratulate them on the completion of this important project,” said Doug Singleton, chair for the Montgomery County Commission. “This project will provide considerable support to Montgomery County schools, dollars the school system otherwise would not receive. This is a major economic development project for the rural part of our county with our strong corporate partner in Lightsource bp.”
News item from Lightsource bp