"This acquisition with longtime partner Turner Renewable Energy strengthens Southern Company's position as a national leader in renewables," said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. "The acquisition of the Morelos del Sol Solar Facility aligns with our company's broader commitment to best meeting customers' energy needs."
Southern Power's eighth solar acquisition in California, the Morelos del Sol Solar Facility will be located on 138 acres and is expected to consist of 111,744 thin-film photovoltaic (PV) solar modules mounted on single-axis trackers. Located in Kern County, California, the project has created approximately 300 construction jobs.
Ted Turner, owner of Turner Renewable Energy, teamed with Southern Company through a subsidiary in January 2010 to form a strategic alliance to pursue development of renewable energy projects in the United States. The partnership has primarily focused on developing and investing in large-scale solar PV projects in the Southwest, where solar resources are most available. This is the company's eighth solar project with Turner Renewable Energy and brings the partnership's overall solar capacity to more than 320 MW.
"The acquisition of the Morelos del Sol facility is another important step in advancing the development of solar technologies," said Turner. "Turner Renewable Energy is pleased to continue our growing relationship as a strategic partner with Southern Company, further surpassing the milestone of 300 megawatts in solar capacity."
DEPCOM Power is providing engineering, procurement and construction services and will also operate and maintain the facility for Southern Power. Construction of the plant began in July, and commercial operation is expected in late November.
The electricity and associated renewable energy credits generated by the facility will be sold under a 20-year power purchase agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric Company.
Southern Power assembled its nationally recognized renewable portfolio – with approximately 1,650 MW of generating capacity ownership either already in operation or under development – through the strategic development of 22 solar, wind and biomass projects across the United States. In all, the Southern Company system has added or announced more than 3,600 MW of renewable projects since 2012.
Turner Renewable Energy is wholly 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 51,000 bison.
The Morelos del Sol 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.