"Bethel Wind is an important piece of our renewable portfolio as we expand our wind generating capacity in 2017," said Southern Power President and CEO Buzz Miller. "This facility will help serve our customers with clean wholesale energy."
With the addition of the Bethel Wind Energy Center, Southern Power owns more than 3,200 MW of renewable generation across 36 solar, wind and biomass facilities either announced, acquired or under construction. In total, the Southern Co. system has added or announced more than 6,500 MW of renewable generation since 2012.
Blattner Energy Inc. constructed the Bethel Wind Energy Center, and Invenergy Services will operate and maintain the facility upon completion. Located in Castro County, the Bethel Wind Energy Center uses 120 wind turbines manufactured by General Electric Renewable Energy. Construction activities began in January 2016 and final commissioning of the turbines is expected to be completed in January 2017.
The majority of the electricity and associated renewable energy credits generated by the facility will be sold under a long-term agreement with Google Energy. Southern Power, through its units, will retain the remainder of the electricity and associated RECs, which it may keep or sell.
This project aligns with Southern Power's overall business strategy of strengthening its wholesale business through acquiring and constructing generating assets substantially covered by long-term contracts.