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Solar Component Manufacturing

Industry growth is significant. In the state of Mississippi, growth in the clean energy sector is significant, including the location of several solar companies in 2010 and 2011.

Highly-skilled workforce is present. Four major universities offering ABET-accredited engineering degree programs are within 150 miles of the TAP region and provide a well-trained, specialized workforce. Approximately 30% of workers in the TAP region are employed in the manufacturing sector.

Workforce training is available. Manufacturing-specific workforce training is provided by the community college system and technical schools, all located within a few hours drive.

Transportation is quick and easy. Transportation of products is possible via 4-lane highways, ports, and rail lines.

Low cost of business PLUS incentives. The state of Mississippi offers incentives specific to the clean energy industry and has a low cost of living and low cost of doing business.

New Industries Locating in Mississippi

  • 2011 – Stion Corporation announced it will open a thin-film solar panel manufacturing plant in Hattiesburg
  • 2011 – Calisolar announced plans to build a solar silicon and silicon metal plant in Columbus
  • 2010 – Twin Creeks Technologies announced it will locate its first full-scale photovoltaic solar panel production facility in Senatobia (opened May 2011)

View a map of solar energy and biomass companies in Mississippi.

US Highways and Interstates

US Highway 72 (east-west) and US Highway 45 (north-south) are four-lane highways running through the TAP Alliance region. Future Interstate 22 is accessible from Tupelo (50 miles) and connects I-240 and I-40 with I-65 and I-20. Interstates 55, 22, and 40 are accessible from Memphis, approximately 110 miles from the TAP region. Several state highways serve the TAP Alliance region.

View map of highways in North Mississippi (365 KB, PDF)


Water transportation is available via the Tennessee River and Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway (TTW). Yellow Creek Port on the TTW is near Iuka in Tishomingo County. This port is equipped with 200-ton capacity cranes, warehouse, as well as truck and rail facilities. The port has more than 1,100 acres of industrial sites available and is a designated Foreign Trade Subzone and a Federal HUBzone.

The Port of Itawamba also serves the TTW. Located 50 miles from the edge of the TAP Alliance, it has truck and rail facilities, warehouses, conveyor, 60-ton crane, and also provides cargo handling and logistical support.

View a map of ports along the Tenn-Tom Waterway in the TAP Alliance (1.2 MB, PDF)


Rail lines serving the TAP Alliance region include Norfolk-Southern Railroad main line and 4 short lines: Kansas City Southern, Yellow Creek Port, Tishomingo Railroad, and Redmont.

View a map of rail lines serving the TAP Alliance region (1.8 MB, PDF).

Specialized Workforce

ABET-accredited undergraduate engineering degree programs and master’s and PhD options in similar areas are available at nearby universities.

Degree ProgramsMississippi State University University of Alabama at HuntsvilleUniversity of MississippiUniversity of Memphis
Aerospace engineeringXX
Biological engineeringX
Biomedical engineeringX
Chemical engineeringXXX
Civil engineeringXXXX
Computer engineeringXXX
Electrical engineeringXXXX
Engineering technologyX
Geological engineeringX
Industrial engineeringXX
Mechanical engineeringXXXX
Optical engineeringX
Software engineeringX
Miles from TAP Region120 miles106 miles92 miles110 miles

Workforce Training

Northeast Mississippi Community College

Division of Workforce Training and Economic Development
Offers customized job training to new and existing business and industry. Two training facilities are located within the TAP region, one in Corinth and the other in Booneville. Mobile training facilities may be available upon request for onsite training throughout the TAP region. Programs through the Division of Engineering Technology and Occupational Education include

  • Machine tool and die
  • Electrical/electronics technology
  • Industrial maintenance

East Mississippi Community College

Center for Manufacturing Technology Excellence
Offers technical training relevant to Mississippi industries. 112 miles from the TAP region.

Workforce Services
Offers customized training to industry and core courses to individuals. Classes include

  • Basic manufacturing skills
  • Composite manufacturing
  • Precision assembly
  • Machining/CNC
  • And more. See full list of classes

Tennessee Technology Center at Memphis

Workforce training through traditional and distance learning systems. 110 miles from the TAP region. Courses include

  • Machine tool technology
  • Industrial maintenance repair
  • Welding, brazing, and soldering

Center for Manufacturing Excellence at University of Mississippi

Provides manufacturing education through the mechanical engineering program, professional development courses, and is involved with industry-led research. 92 miles form the TAP region.

Research and Development

Institute for Clean Energy Technology at Mississippi State University

The Institute focuses on the following areas of research

  • Environmental Impact of Energy Production and Use (IEP)
  • Diagnostic and Sensing Technologies (DST)
  • Engineering Scale Testing (EST)
  • Nuclear and Defense Measurement Technologies (NDMT)

Financial Incentives Specific to Clean Energy Manufacturers

Mississippi Clean Energy Initiative Program

Manufacturers of components and systems for clean, renewable, or alternative energy which are certified by Mississippi Development Authority are eligible for

  • 10-year exemption from state income and franchise taxes
  • Sales tax exemption for plant establishment or expansion


Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit

This tax credit includes

  • 5% of eligible project investment
  • Can not exceed $1,000,000

Requirements include

  • Operated in Mississippi for at least two years
  • Invested at least $1,000,000 in additional buildings and/or equipment
  • Learn more about this manufacturing tax credit

Mississippi offers a variety of tax incentives, grants and loans for business and industry. View a listing of more incentives.

website by Kathy Jacobs Design & Marketing LLC, Starkville, MS