This south Louisiana solar farm is expected to begin producing energy in 2025


In 2021, it was announced that DEMCO had entered into a deal with NextEra Energy to develop a 100 MW, $160 million solar farm in Tangipahoa Parish—the Amite Solar Energy Center.

The announcement was big news for renewable energy advocates in Louisiana, as the 1,278-acre solar farm is aimed at producing clean, low-cost power while also generating millions in tax revenue for Tangipahoa Parish over the course of its lifespan.

Jeff Andry, chief strategy and regulatory officer for DEMCO, gave an update on the project at the Press Club of Baton Rouge’s meeting last week.

According to Andry, construction on the Amite Solar Energy Center officially commenced in March, and the solar farm is expected to begin producing power in April 2025. As of right now, the site has been cleared and partially graded and piles have been installed in the ground.

“There’s a lot of debate about solar,” Andry said. “You can talk about climate change and land use issues, and those are conversations worth having, but I think the most important thing for us is that this project is going to provide fixed-price power for our members for 25 years. … There’s not a similar hedge against gas prices available in the financial markets.”

Louisiana is well positioned to be a leader when it comes to solar power, Andry said. With about 216 sunny days per year, the state’s climate makes it an ideal location for solar power production.

“[Solar] is intermittent, but it’s actually relatively predictable, especially compared to wind,” Andry said. “And its production profile happens to match Louisiana’s summertime load profile very well.”

Once the Amite Solar Energy Center has been connected to the utility grid, it will begin supplying DEMCO with up to 100 MW of solar power. According to Louisiana Economic Development, 100 MW is enough to power about 20,000 homes and businesses daily.

DEMCO is a not-for-profit electric cooperative that provides power to customers in a seven-parish region comprising Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Livingston, St. Helena, Tangipahoa and West Feliciana. A subsidiary of NextEra, the world’s largest producer of wind and solar power, will own and operate the Amite Solar Energy Center.