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300 new jobs coming to DeSoto County as part of solar project

Published: May. 17, 2022 at 7:12 PM CDT|Updated: May. 18, 2022 at 5:01 AM CDT
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WALLS, Miss. (WMC) - About 300 new jobs are coming to DeSoto County as part of a solar farm energy project near Walls, Mississippi.

Tuesday, Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley signed the official documents to authorize the project.

Like most mayors, Walls Mayor Keidron Henderson is his town’s biggest cheerleader.

“We are, you know, a progressive little town with a lot of potential,” said Henderson.

But developing that potential hasn’t been easy.

Walls is a town of only 1,400 people.

“Well, with any small town, there are economic challenges,” said Henderson. “Infrastructure would probably be one of our major obstacles because we’re largely an agricultural town, a sleepy town.”

But Walls is about to wake up to something new.

Clearway Energy, a California-based solar power company, plans to build a $90 million, 600-acre solar farm about a mile outside of town.

The developer says the project will create 300 construction jobs and generate $400,000 in annual property taxes.

They say the flat land and abundant sunshine made the area attractive.

“Walls and DeSoto County are uniquely positioned in Mississippi to be really beneficial for solar development,” said Barry Matchett, a representative with Clearway Energy.

The solar facility will be owned and operated by Wildflower Solar, a subsidiary of Clearway Energy.

The electricity produced at the solar farm will power the Toyota plant in Blue Springs, about 95 miles away.

“We want to show the world Mississippi is open for business, and this type of investment sends that type of signal,” said Presley.

As more large companies look for clean and renewable energy sources, Mississippi leaders hope it’s a sign of things to come.

The mayor of Walls hopes his town helps lead the way.

“My grandmother used to say you got to crawl before you walk, so that’s where we are right now,” said Henderson.

Construction should start later this year.

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