Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power is demonstrating its commitment to developing more renewable energy resources through the acquisition of the 103-megawatt (MW) Butler solar facility from Community Energy, Inc., in Georgia.
A national leader in renewables, Southern Power has strategically 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 CEO 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 process through the nationally recognized Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative.
The facility, which will be located on approximately 1,070 acres in Taylor County, Georgia, is expected to enter commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2016. Construction is slated to begin in September 2015, with First Solar, Inc., managing the building, operations and maintenance of the facility.
The Butler solar facility is expected to consist of more than 1 million of First Solar's 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, for the benefit of its customers or renewable energy programs.
The Butler solar facility fits Southern Power's business strategy of growing its wholesale business through the acquisition and construction of generating assets substantially covered by long-term contracts.