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  • AMEA and Lightsource bp Partner to Bring 130 Megawatts of Affordable, Dependable, Solar Energy to Alabama Communities

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    • Black Bear Solar project offsets more than 173,252 metric tons of carbon emissions each year
    • Brings $100 million private capital investment into new, local energy infrastructure for Alabama
    • Generates enough electricity to power 20,000 Alabama homes
    MONTGOMERY, Alabama – Global solar leader Lightsource bp, together with the Alabama Municipal Electric Authority (AMEA), today celebrated the dedication of its 130 MWdc / 100 MWac Black Bear Solar project. The partners unveiled one of Alabama’s largest solar farms which will bring affordable, local, sustainable electricity to 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. The project acts as a hedge against price volatility in the natural gas market while saving AMEA a minimum of $40 million over the initial 20-year power contract.

    “AMEA is saving money with a home-grown, renewable resource that helps us provide dependable, economical power to our communities,” said 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.”

    Boosting economic development and job creation
    Black Bear Solar was built using more than 280,000 ultra-low carbon solar panels manufactured by Arizona-based First Solar, solar trackers manufactured by New Mexico-based Array Technologies, and foundational piles on which the trackers sit manufactured by Mississippi-based Attala Steel. More than 400 people worked to construct the facility, the majority local workers.

    “This project is a great example of how solar is a job engine for Americans,” said 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 valuable partners to both AMEA and Lightsource bp, helping bring this project to realization through their efforts to foster innovative projects that drive economic development and local tax revenue. In addition to providing jobs, clean energy and bill savings to AMEA’s Members and their customers, the project will contribute over $7 million in property tax revenue to county schools over the project life.

    “We are grateful to AMEA and Lightsource bp for their significant announcement in Montgomery and congratulate them on the completion of this important project,” said 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,” said 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.
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    About AMEA
    The Alabama Municipal Electric Authority is a publicly-owned, not-for-profit electric utility that provides low-cost, reliable power to its 11 Member municipal utilities across Alabama. Established in 1981, AMEA is a coalition of municipal electric utilities that provide power to the cities of Alexander City, Dothan, Fairhope, Foley, LaFayette, Lanett, Luverne, Opelika, Piedmont, Sylacauga, and Tuskegee. AMEA’s mission is to provide its Member communities with a reliable and economical source of electric power, enabling them to preserve and enhance the benefits of municipal utility ownership for their citizens and the electric customers they serve. For more information, visit www.amea.com.

    Media Contact: Lisa M. Miller / lmiller@amea.com / 334.387.3501
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    About Lightsource bp
    Named world’s largest solar developer by Mercom Capital Partners, Lightsource bp is a global leader in the development and management of solar energy and energy storage projects and a 50:50 joint venture with bp. For more than a decade, Lightsource bp has delivered affordable, safe and sustainable energy to businesses and communities around the world. Their team includes more than 900 industry experts, working in 18 countries, providing full scope development for projects, from initial site selection, financing and permitting to long-term management of solar projects and energy sales to their customers. Lightsource bp in the U.S. is headquartered in San Francisco with development offices in Denver, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Austin. For more information visit www.lightsourcebp.com, follow them on Twitter Lightsourcebp and Instagram @lightsourcebp or view their LinkedIn page.

    Media Contact: Mary Grikas / mary.grikas@lightsourcebp.com / 732.429.3908
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    About the Montgomery Chamber
    With a mission to create jobs and a better quality of life in Montgomery and the River Region, the Montgomery Chamber is a full-spectrum economic development corporation representing 1,700 organizations and business and more than 100,000 employees throughout Montgomery and the River Region. The Montgomery Chamber is an innovative, consolidated organization that addresses destination tourism, economic development, business development, workforce development, and community strategies under one umbrella, linking the public and private sector around a shared vision and providing tremendous value to its investors.

    Media Contact: Lara Wilson / lwilson@montgomerychamber.com / 334.312.9082
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  • Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce
    600 S. Court St, P.O. Box 79
    Montgomery, Alabama 36101
    Tel: 334.834.5200   Fax: 334.265.4745

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