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The power to grow Mississippi


Campuses for the $10 billion project will be located at two sites in Madison County, one being the Megasite pictured.
Campuses for the $10 billion project will be located at two sites in Madison County, one being the Megasite pictured.

This article was updated in January 2024 to include Amazon Web Service's announcement of a $10 billion investment in Mississippi.

As the power source behind the luxuries of refrigerated food, machine-washed clothes, and television entertainment, most customers might view our service primarily from a residential perspective. However, an electric utility’s impact reaches deep into a community’s roots.

One of the biggest factors companies assess before locating or expanding their business to an area is the affordability and reliability of their energy source. So, when communities need to attract new industries and jobs, the electric utility’s economic development team lends a hand with locating and preparing building sites, and coordinating new developments. These are responsibilities that Entergy Mississippi has had a great history of accomplishing.

As one of its first economic development actions, Mississippi Power & Light – Entergy Mississippi’s former name – leveraged its role as an electric utility provider to help the state bring in more industrial customers after the decline in agriculture careers in the 1950s. Led by the utility company, the Helping Build Mississippi initiative became the state’s oldest private economic development program.

Building momentum for Mississippi

Powering communities through economic development continues to be one of Entergy’s most proud contributions to the state.

Most recently, Entergy Mississippi played a key role in recruiting a historic $10 billion project to the state – the single largest capital investment in state history. The transformative project will provide at least 1,000 direct jobs and make Mississippi a technology leader in the Southeast United States.

While the campuses for the project will be located at two sites in the Madison County – one being the Megasite, the impacts of this sizeable investment will reach across our service territory – creating support for economic development, education and infrastructure investments.

In 2022, Entergy Mississippi helped secure $808 million in capital investments and helped to facilitate the state’s new Site Development Grant Program. These investments helped create nearly 1,050 new jobs within the state.

Notable projects include the expansion of Nissan Canton, which will invest $500 million to transform the Madison County assembly plant to build all-new EV models starting in 2025. Since its opening in 2003, Nissan Canton’s impact has reached far across the Jackson Metro area and helped establish the state’s growing automotive sector. 

The Nissan Canton plant has been touted as one of Mississippi’s largest economic development projects in its 200-year history, and Entergy Mississippi is continually building on the momentum from the significant investment.

Recently, the economic development team helped secure Milwaukee Tool’s $60 million expansion in Grenada. The new manufacturing facility brings more than 800 jobs to the state and helped accelerate the building of a new Entergy Mississippi substation. The investments from the project in turn support more growth in the area. 

The team also facilitated Menasha Packaging’s expansion in Pelahatchie and Jordan Carriers’ project in Natchez. Menasha’s $79 million investment will create more than 20 new jobs. Jordan Carriers’ new 20,000-square-foot headquarters consists of $11 million worth of investment and 30 new jobs.

Each of these projects represent customers from various regions of Entergy Mississippi’s service area – highlighting our economic development footprint across the state.

Preparing communities for progress

In addition to partnering with cities and counties to secure new investment, Entergy Mississippi contributes to community growth by awarding grants to help make industrial sites more attractive to prospective companies.

Every year since 2017, Entergy Mississippi has awarded Excellerator Competitive Communities Grants to local economic development organizations to help them stay competitive in marketing their sites and communities to companies. The program has awarded 20 organizations and over a half a million dollars to date.

Through its Qualified Site Program, Entergy Mississippi helps communities with due diligence to make economic development sites ready for development. Doing this helps to better attract prospective companies, who want to start businesses as quickly as possible.

With the help of the Qualified Site Program, Mississippi communities have received nearly $14 million from the Mississippi Development Authority. MDA’s Site Development Grant Program allows communities to better prepare highly competitive sites for immediate industrial development. Notably, the Vicksburg River Megasite and Port Complex received $4 million to perform wetlands mitigation. Tate, Madison, Bolivar, Hinds, Pike and Rankin counties also benefitted from site awards.

Staying aggressive to build a brighter future

One of the critical ways to ensure that Mississippi has an advantage over other states is through Entergy Mississippi’s site qualification process. The utility’s economic development team identifies and prepares sites for certification before companies commit to the property. In this way, the team identifies risks on the front end to mitigate concerns for potential customers to locate in the future.

Mississippi needs to stay aggressive to take advantage of every opportunity in the Southeast United States. The future is bright for the state, and our economic development team is working every day to bring in new projects for growth.

Ed Gardner
Director, Business & Economic Development, Entergy Mississippi