Selecting the optimal renewable energy source (RES) is a complex multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) problem due to the association of diverse conflicting criteria with uncertain information. The utilization of Fermatean fuzzy numbers is successfully treated with the qualitative data and uncertain information that often occur in realistic MCDM problems. In this paper, an extended complex proportional assessment (COPRAS) approach is developed to treat the decision-making problems in a Fermatean fuzzy set (FFS) context. First, to aggregate the Fermatean fuzzy information, a new Fermatean fuzzy Archimedean copula-based Maclaurin symmetric mean operator is introduced with its desirable characteristics. This proposed operator not only considers the interrelationships between multiple numbers of criteria, but also associates more than one marginal distribution, thus avoiding information loss in the process of aggregation. Second, new similarity measures are developed to quantify the degree of similarity between Fermatean fuzzy perspectives more effectively and are further utilized to compute the weights of the criteria. Third, an integrated Fermatean fuzzy-COPRAS approach using the Archimedean copula-based Maclaurin symmetric mean operator and similarity measure has been developed to assess and rank the alternatives under the FFS perspective. Furthermore, a case study of RES selection is presented to validate the feasibility and practicality of the developed model. Comparative and sensitivity analyses are used to check the reliability and strength of the proposed method.