Magnolia State Turns To The Sun

State Economy

The population of the state of the Magnolia State, Mississippi is approximately 2.93 million people[1]. Mississippi is the 36th most populated state in the United States.

In 2022, 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, manufacturing, fishing, forestry, and tourism industries[3].

Environmental Policies

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

Power Generation Capabilities

In March 2023, Mississippi utilities[5] used natural gas (73.1%), nuclear (17.7%). coal (6.6%), and renewable energy (2.7%). Solar and biomass are the dominant types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Mississippi.

In March 2023, the average cost of residential electricity in Mississippi was 14.01¢ per kWh, compared to the national average of 15.85¢ 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.
  • 78 MW Solar Project – In July 2021, North Carolina solar company, Pine Gate Renewables commissioned the Moonshot Solar project in Hancock County in the southwestern region of the state.
  • 78 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 in 2024.
  • 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 2023, 6.6% 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 slowly reduced the use of coal to fuel power plants over the last decade. The abundance of inexpensive natural gas prompted Mississippi’s utilities to shift from coal to natural gas power plants.

Mississippi has significant undeveloped renewable energy potential, including solar, biomass, onshore wind, and offshore wind. State utilities are now developing new renewable energy projects, as coal and natural gas prices continue to increase. Magnolia State is now turning to the sun for low-cost, reliable energy.


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, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related issues and topics.



[1] Mississippi Population 2023, 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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