Lightsource bp, together with the Alabama Municipal Electric Authority (AMEA), has opened the 130 MW DC / 100 MW AC Black Bear Solar project for operations, which will serve AMEA’s 11 member 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.
“AMEA is saving money with a home-grown, renewable resource that helps us provide dependable, economical power to our communities,” says 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 First Solar, solar trackers manufactured by Array Technologies and foundational piles on which the trackers sit manufactured by Attala Steel.
“This project is a great example of how solar is a job engine for Americans,” comments 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 Montgomery County Commission and Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce were partners to both AMEA and Lightsource bp, helping to bring this project to realization.
“We are grateful to AMEA and Lightsource bp for their significant announcement in Montgomery and congratulate them on the completion of this important project,” says Montgomery County Commission Chair Doug Singleton. “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.”
“The Montgomery Chamber congratulates AMEA and Lightsource bp on this groundbreaking endeavor,” adds Cedric Campbell, 2022 chair of the Montgomery Chamber. “Innovative collaborations among public and private sector partners like this will power business and economic prosperity for the region for years to come with clean, low-cost, and low-impact renewable energy.”
The Black Bear Solar project is in commissioning and currently generating electricity into the grid and will be fully operational in November 2022.