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Alabama Power, Mercedes Benz collaborating on solar power project

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Alabama Power & Mercedes

Alabama Power CEO Mark Crosswhite, left, and MBUSI CEO Michael Goebel discuss a new solar project to support the automaker’s renewable energy goals.

Alabama Power and Mercedes Benz U.S. International are collaborating on a solar power project in Lowndes County.

The Alabama Public Service Commission last week approved an 80-megawatt station, the Letohatchee Solar Project, which will create about 300 construction jobs, according to Alabama Power. The station is projected to generate about $9 million in tax revenue over the life of the project.

Under a 15-year contract, Mercedes-Benz will receive all the renewable energy credits from the facility, which will cover a significant portion of the electric needs for its Vance and Bibb County campuses. Alabama Power will receive the entire electric output from the project. Commercial operation is expected to begin in March 2024.

The two companies have collaborated on several projects, most recently announcing a partnership with the University of Alabama to form the Alabama Mobility and Power Center, a research and development center in the electric vehicle field.

For Mercedes-Benz, the solar project is part of its “Ambition 2039” goal of reducing emissions in all stages of production, while Alabama Power President and CEO Mark Crosswhite said it satisfies his company’s goal of advancing emissions-free resources.

Earlier this year, the Public Service Commission approved the 80-megawatt HEP Greenville Solar Project in Butler County, in which Wells Fargo Bank is participating. Solar facilities at the Anniston Army Depot, Fort Rucker and in LaFayette all reached commercial operation in 2017.

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