Southern Co. unit buys 139 MW solar power plant

A unit of Southern Co. bought the company's largest solar energy installation — the 139 MW Campo Verde Solar Project. Southern Co. unit Southern Power and Turner Renewable Energy bought the solar energy project from First Solar Inc.

The acquisition of this renewable energy project will more than double Southern Co.'s solar power generation portfolio, according to the company.

The Campo Verde Solar Project will be built, operated and maintained by First Solar, a global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems using its thin-film modules.

Construction of the plant began in December 2012 and commercial operation is targeted for fall 2013. The Campo Verde Solar Project is located on a 1,443-acre site in Imperial County.

Electricity generated by the plant will serve a 20-year power purchase agreement with San Diego Gas & Electric Co. (SDG&E), a unit of Sempra Energy. Headquartered in San Diego, SDG&E provides energy service to 3.4 million people through 1.4 million electric meters and 850,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties.

Southern Power, a unit of Southern Co., owns and operates more than 8,600 MW of generating capacity with facilities in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Texas and New Mexico, and with an additional 30 MW under construction in Nevada.

First Solar is a global provider of photovoltaic solar systems that use thin-film modules.

Turner Renewable Energy is owned by Ted Turner. Turner Enterprises, Inc., a private company, manages the business interests, land holdings and investments of Ted Turner, including the oversight of 2 million acres in 12 states and in Argentina, and more than 55,000 bison.

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