By Ronald Baker
Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power announced its acquisition of a 103-MW solar plant from Community Energy Inc. of Georgia.
Financial Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
The Butler solar plant will be built on more than 1,000 acres in Taylor County. Construction is expected to begin in September 2015. The plant is expected to begin commercial production in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Southern has acquired or is constructing more than 1,100 MW of renewable energy generating capacity with 16 solar, wind and biomass projects, including four solar projects in Georgia.
"The Butler solar facility builds on Southern Company's innovative approach to diversifying our nation's energy mix," said Southern Company Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas A. Fanning. "Our strategic development of solar in Georgia continues our company's expansion of renewable energy generation in the Southeast."
The project, which was initially developed by Community Energy Inc., was selected by Southern Company subsidiary Georgia Power in a competitive bidding process administered through the Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative.
The facility will be managed, operated and maintained by First Solar Inc. and will feature more than 1 million thin-film photovoltaic solar modules mounted on single-axis tracking tables.
The electricity and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by the facility will be sold under a 30-year power purchase agreement with Georgia Power, which will have the option to keep or sell the RECs. The RECs will benefit the customers of the renewable energy programs greatly.
Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO) provides power to 4.5 million customers in several southeastern states and has a generating capacity of 46,000 MW..