ATLANTA, Feb. 20, 2015 — Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power today announced the acquisition of two photovoltaic (PV) solar projects totaling 99 megawatts (MW) in Georgia – the 80-MW Decatur Parkway Solar Project and the 19-MW Decatur County Solar Project – from Tradewind Energy, Inc.
Both are located near Bainbridge, GA.
Construction on the larger project is scheduled to begin this month while work on the 19-megawatt plant will begin in June. Southern’s regional utility Georgia Power has agreed to buy electricity from the plants.
With the acquisitions announced Friday, Southern Power owns or has under development about 670 megawatts of renewable energy capacity.
The projects were proposed by Tradewind Energy, Inc. and selected by Southern Company subsidiary Georgia Power in a competitive process through the nationally recognized Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative.
“Southern Power’s strategic investment in the Decatur solar projects will help meet Georgia’s growing energy needs,” said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. “These projects and others are enhancing Georgia’s position as a national leader in renewable energy.”
The electricity and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by the 80-MW facility will be sold under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Georgia Power. Construction of the 80-MW facility is currently scheduled to begin this month.
Georgia Power will purchase the energy generated from the 19-MW project under a 20-year PPA. Southern Power will retain the associated RECs, which it may sell to third parties. Construction of the 19-MW facility is currently scheduled to begin in June.
Both projects, which are expected to enter commercial operation in late 2015, will be constructed on separate sites totaling approximately 950 acres in south Georgia’s Decatur County using single-axis tracking technology – optimizing efficiency by directing solar panels to track the sun.
With the development of the Decatur County projects, Southern Power will own approximately 670 MW of renewable energy generating capacity that is either already in operation or under development.
The company owns seven solar projects in partnership with Turner Renewable Energy and one solar project in partnership with First Solar. Southern Power also owns one of the nation’s largest biomass power plants in Nacogdoches, Texas, and has recently announced plans to develop a 131-MW solar facility in Taylor County, Georgia, which is expected to be completed in 2016.
The Decatur County projects fit Southern Power’s business strategy of growing its wholesale business through the acquisition and construction of generating assets substantially covered by long-term contracts.
Southern Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, is a leading U.S. wholesale energy provider, meeting the electricity needs of municipalities, electric cooperatives and investor-owned utilities. With these acquisitions, Southern Power and its subsidiaries will own and operate 21 facilities in eight states, with more than 9,100 MW of generating capacity operating or under development in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas.
With more than 4.5 million customers and approximately 46,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company is the premier energy company serving the Southeast through its subsidiaries. A leading U.S. producer of clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity, Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications.
Southern Company brands are known for energy innovation, excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are below the national average. Southern Company and its subsidiaries are leading the nation’s nuclear renaissance through the construction of the first new nuclear units to be built in a generation of Americans and are demonstrating their commitment to energy innovation through the development of a state-of-the-art coal gasification plant.
Southern Company has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense and G.I. Jobs magazine as a top military employer, listed by DiversityInc as a top company for Blacks and designated a 2013 Top Employer for Hispanics by Hispanic Network. The company received the Edison Award from the Edison Electric Institute for its leadership in new nuclear development, was named Electric Light & Power magazine’s Utility of the Year for 2012 and is continually ranked among the top utilities in Fortune’s annual World’s Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility rankings.
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I have been to the Thomas County Board of Commissioners meeting in Thomasville, Georgia and made the pitch for solar power to be used in our County facilities. I would like someone to contact Mr. Moses Gross, the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners and reinforce my request for the use of renewable energy . I would be proud to see a project like this come to Thomasville Georgia. Regards Alton Paul Burns
I have been back to Thomas County Board of Commissioners once again on Tuesday March 24th and I ask them to consider a resolution opposing the Sabal Trail Transmission Pipeline, and a resolution to ban fracking in Georgia and to implement solar power in Thomas County. When I ask them to tell me their thoughts about this only one person spoke, Mrs. May replied and said, ” I think this is a budget issue.” -apb