County Commission paves way for large scale solar project in Wing

Published 12:05 pm Friday, May 1, 2020

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An 80-megawatt large scale solar project to be constructed in southern Covington County, received an important vote of confidence by the Covington County Commission on Tuesday, April 28. Tax abatement policies needed to support the project by Miami based developer, Origis Energy, were approved in a 4-0 vote. 

Once completed the Wing Solar project will add 80 megawatts of clean, renewable, solar-generated energy to PowerSouth Energy Cooperative’s generation mix. Wing Solar is a project by Origis Energy. It is scheduled to come online in late 2022. 

“Origis Energy, along with our own PowerSouth, has provided a unique opportunity for our county to share in a progressive project providing clean, renewable energy,” said Greg White, Chairman of the Covington County Commission. “I’m convinced that Origis will be a good corporate citizen – a responsible and contributing part of our community.” 

White also said this project will provide direct and immediate benefit to education in Covington County, as no education taxes are abated at all. 

“This project will be impacting our entire education community through sales tax remittances as soon as construction gets underway – and through ad valorem taxes for the next 30 or more years – making this partnership very desirable for the Commission to participate in,” he said. 

This project identifies the county as an innovator and helps prepare the local area for the future, according to Covington County Economic Development Director Rick Clifton. 

“Chairman White and the Commission are to be commended for their actions assisting Origis Energy and PowerSouth, an outstanding corporate citizen in our community for years, in their first large scale solar project,” said Clifton. “This project will serve as notice that Covington County is taking the lead in innovative, progressive, clean energy production and research. In the coming years, Fortune 500 companies like Google, Facebook, Target, Amazon or Johnson & Johnson will purchase the output of several new solar farms in north Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee. We are preparing our county for companies that want to locate where they can draw on clean energy.” 

Tony Holmes, Covington County’s District 3 Commissioner, said he wanted to “wish Origis great success in this project as they move forward helping to generate clean energy for years to come” and give “a special thanks to the investors of Origis, PowerSouth and everyone else who played a part in making this a reality.” 

“The leadership in Covington County and at PowerSouth have made this solar project possible,” said Johan Vanhee, Chief Commercial Officer & Chief Procurement Officer at Origis Energy. “We applaud their efforts to benefit the area and thank them for their collaboration.” 

The addition of solar energy to PowerSouth’s generation portfolio promotes further diversification of its energy mix, allowing PowerSouth to safely deliver reliable and affordable energy to promote community development. The 80 MW solar facility is enough to power approximately 13,000 homes annually. 

“This solar project provides PowerSouth and its members a clean resource to help fulfill its mission of providing long-term, reliable and affordable energy,” said Gary Smith, President & CEO of PowerSouth. “We remain committed to supporting the stability and development of the communities we serve.”