Alabama Municipal Electric Authority (AMEA) and Lightsource bp recently dedicated a 130-megawatt (MW) solar project that will provide electricity to AMEA’s 11 member municipal utilities.
Located 15 miles from AMEA’s headquarters, the Black Bear solar project 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.
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 on which the trackers sit manufactured by Mississippi-based Attala Steel. More than 400 people worked to construct the facility, the majority local workers.
The project is in commissioning and currently generating electricity into the grid and will be fully operational in November 2022.