Magnolia State Turns To The Sun For Economic Relief

State Economy

The population of the state of the Magnolia State, Mississippi is approximately 2.96 million people[1]. Mississippi is the 34th most populated state in the United States.

In 2021, Mississippi’s economy was ranked 36th in the United States in gross domestic product (GDP)[2]. The state’s economy is dependent on the agriculture, fishing, forestry, food processing, and tourism industries[3].

Environment Policies

Mississippi is one of only 13 states that has neither a renewable portfolio standard requirement nor a goal[4].

In March 2022, Mississippi utilities[5] used natural gas (85.0 %), coal (11.4 %), and renewable energy (3.6 %). Solar and biomass are the primary types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Mississippi.

In March 2022, the average cost of residential electricity in Mississippi was 12.66 ¢ per kWh, compared to the national average of 14.47 ¢ per kWh.

Recent renewable energy developments in Mississippi include:

  • 150 MW Solar + Energy Storage Project – Florida solar company, Origis Energy is continuing work on a solar plus energy storage project in the eastern region of the state. The project is scheduled to be commissioned by year-end 2023.
  • 100 MW Solar Project – In May 2022, Louisiana utility Entergy commissioned the Sunflower Solar Station in the northwestern region of the state.
  • 5 MW Solar Project – North Carolina solar company, Pine Gate Renewables is continuing work on the Moonshot Solar project in Hancock County in the southwestern region of the state. The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2022.
  • 5 MW Solar Project – Pine Gate Renewables is continuing work on the Cane Creek Solar project in the eastern region of the state. The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2022.
  • 5 MW Solar + Energy Storage Project – In April 2022, Georgia utility, Southern Company commissioned a solar plus energy storage project in the central region of the state.
  • Biomass Power Project – In August 2021, Maryland sustainable wood bioenergy company, Enviva completed a 750,000 tons per year wood pellet biomass production facility in the southeastern region of the state.


In 2010, 30.0% of Mississippi’s electricity was generated from coal-fueled power plants[6]. In March 2022, 11.4% of the state’s electricity was generated from coal-fueled power plants. Why the decrease in the use of coal?

  1. Economics – The cost to generate power from natural gas or renewable energy is significantly cheaper than coal. The cost to generate electricity from coal-fired plants is over twice the cost of wind or solar.
  2. Environment – Coal ash, the product of coal burned in a power plant contains arsenic, mercury, and lead; which are toxic. In 2019, coal ash was reported to have leaked into the ground water around 241 coal-fired plants in America[7].
  3. Climate Change – Coal generates 40% to 45% more greenhouse gases than natural gas.

Mississippi has significant undeveloped renewable energy potential, including solar, onshore wind, offshore wind, and biomass. However, state utilities have been slow to develop new renewable energy projects.

In 2021, the compelling economics of inexpensive solar energy prompted regional utilities to move from coal to clean, green reliable renewable energy. In 2022, the dramatic rise in natural gas projects is now driving utilities to move to low cost, reliable renewable energy.

Magnolia State is now turning to the sun for economic relief.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”


Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics.


[1] Mississippi Population 2022, World Population Review

[2] U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis

[3] Biggest Industries in Mississippi – World Atlas

[4] National Conference of State Legislators – State Renewable Portfolio Standards and Goals, January 4, 2021

[5] U.S. Energy Information Agency – Mississippi State Profile and Energy Estimates,

[6] U.S. Energy Information Agency – Electricity Power Sector Consumption Estimates, 1960-2018, Mississippi

[7] Reuters, “Coal Ash Contaminates Groundwater Near Most U.S. Coal Plants: Study” by Valerie Volcovici, March 3, 2019

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