Alabama Power receives approval for Mercedes-Benz solar project in Lowndes County

Alabama Power and Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc. (MBUSI) received approval today from the Alabama Public Service Commission for the proposed 80-megawatt Letohatchee Solar Project in Lowndes County.

This project and the renewable contract between Alabama Power and MBUSI build on a long-standing partnership between the two companies and align with the shared vision of enhancing the use of renewable energy.

Under the 15-year contract, MBUSI will receive all the renewable energy credits (RECs) 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 pursuant to a 15-year power purchase agreement.

The Letohatchee Solar Project is expected to create about 300 construction jobs while generating more than $9 million in tax revenues for Lowndes County over the life of the project. Commercial operation is expected to begin in March 2024.

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

“At Alabama Power, we’re committed to providing innovative energy solutions for our customers and supporting the growth of Alabama communities,” said Alabama Power President and CEO Mark Crosswhite. “This agreement builds on our partnership with Mercedes and will help us deliver long-term value to our customers while increasing emissions-free resources.”

Mercedes-Benz Cars first announced its holistic approach to climate protection under the sustainable mobility strategy known as “Ambition 2039” – setting goals that cover all stages of the automotive value chain – from technical development to the extraction of raw materials, to production, service life, and recycling.

“MBUSI’s commitment to the Letohatchee Solar Project is an important action in realizing this strategy for the Vance and Bibb campuses’ electric supply,” said Michael Goebel, president and CEO of MBUSI. “As we ramp up battery production and electric vehicle production in Alabama in 2022, MBUSI is seen as a critical location for the Mercedes-Benz shift toward an emissions-free and software-driven future.”