Southern Company subsidiary acquires two Georgia solar projects totaling 99 megawatts

Feb 20, 2015, 09:00 ET from Southern Company

ATLANTA, Feb. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power today announced the acquisition of two photovoltaic (PV) solar projects totaling 99 megawatts (MW) in Georgia – the 80-MW Decatur Parkway Solar Project and the 19-MW Decatur County Solar Project – from Tradewind Energy, Inc.

The projects were proposed by Tradewind Energy, Inc. and selected by Southern Company subsidiary Georgia Power in a competitive process through the nationally recognized Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative.

"Southern Power's strategic investment in the Decatur solar projects will help meet Georgia's growing energy needs," said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. "These projects and others are enhancing Georgia's position as a national leader in renewable energy."

The electricity and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by the 80-MW facility will be sold under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Georgia Power. Construction of the 80-MW facility is currently scheduled to begin this month.

Georgia Power will purchase the energy generated from the 19-MW project under a 20-year PPA. Southern Power will retain the associated RECs, which it may sell to third parties. Construction of the 19-MW facility is currently scheduled to begin in June.

Both projects, which are expected to enter commercial operation in late 2015, will be constructed on separate sites totaling approximately 950 acres in south Georgia's Decatur County using single-axis tracking technology – optimizing efficiency by directing solar panels to track the sun.

With the development of the Decatur County projects, Southern Power will own approximately 670 MW of renewable energy generating capacity that is either already in operation or under development. The company owns seven solar projects in partnership with Turner Renewable Energy and one solar project in partnership with First Solar. Southern Power also owns one of the nation's largest biomass power plants in Nacogdoches, Texas, and has recently announced plans to develop a 131-MW solar facility in Taylor County, Georgia, which is expected to be completed in 2016.

The Decatur County projects fit Southern Power's business strategy of growing its wholesale business through the acquisition and construction of generating assets substantially covered by long-term contracts.

Southern Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, is a leading U.S. wholesale energy provider, meeting the electricity needs of municipalities, electric cooperatives and investor-owned utilities. With these acquisitions, Southern Power and its subsidiaries will own and operate 21 facilities in eight states, with more than 9,100 MW of generating capacity operating or under development in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas.

With more than 4.5 million customers and approximately 46,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier energy company serving the Southeast through its subsidiaries. A leading U.S. producer of clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity, Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for energy innovation, excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are below the national average. Southern Company and its subsidiaries are leading the nation's nuclear renaissance through the construction of the first new nuclear units to be built in a generation of Americans and are demonstrating their commitment to energy innovation through the development of a state-of-the-art coal gasification plant. Southern Company has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense and G.I. Jobs magazine as a top military employer, listed by DiversityInc as a top company for Blacks and designated a 2013 Top Employer for Hispanics by Hispanic Network. The company received the Edison Award from the Edison Electric Institute for its leadership in new nuclear development, was named Electric Light & Power magazine's Utility of the Year for 2012 and is continually ranked among the top utilities in Fortune's annual World's Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility rankings. Visit our website at www.southerncompany.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:

Certain information contained in this release is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning the construction and subsequent operation of the solar facilities in Decatur County, Georgia and Taylor County, Georgia. Southern Company and Southern Power caution that there are certain factors that can cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Southern Company and Southern Power; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in each of Southern Company's and Southern Power's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: ability to control costs and avoid cost overruns during the development and construction of facilities, including changes in labor costs and productivity factors, adverse weather conditions, shortages and inconsistent quality of equipment, materials and labor, contractor or supplier delay, non-performance under construction or other agreements, and/or operational performance; ability to construct facilities in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses, to satisfy any environmental performance standards, including the requirements of tax credits and other incentives, and to integrate facilities or operations; and potential business strategies, including acquisitions or dispositions of assets or businesses, which cannot be assured to be completed or beneficial to Southern Company or Southern Power. Southern Company and Southern Power expressly disclaim any obligation to update any forward-looking information.

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