ATLANTA, Oct. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The largest tracking solar plant acquired by Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power in partnership with Turner Renewable Energy, the Spectrum Solar Facility, has begun commercial operation. The 30-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) installation utilizes tracking technology that enables greater operating efficiency by optimally directing solar panels to track the sun as it moves across the sky. Both the Spectrum Solar Facility and the partnership's second-largest tracking solar plant – the 20-MW Apex Solar Facility – are located in Clark County, Nev.
"We're proud to build on our legacy of innovation by leveraging solar technologies that support our full portfolio of energy resources," said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. "Our partnership with Turner Renewable Energy helps us to prepare for America's energy future."
The 311-acre site was built and will be operated and maintained by SunEdison, a leading global provider of solar technology and services. Southern Power and Turner Renewable Energy acquired the project from SunEdison in September 2012.
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 acquiring solar PV projects where solar resources are most favorable.
In September 2012, the Spectrum Solar Facility became the third of five projects jointly acquired by Southern Power and Turner Renewable Energy. The partnership's first project was the acquisition and development of the 30-MW Cimarron Solar Facility on land adjacent to Turner's Vermejo Park Ranch near Raton, N.M. The partnership has purchased three other projects: the Apex Solar Facility, the 2.5-MW Granville Solar Facility in Granville County, N.C., and in April, the partnership acquired its largest project, the 139-MW Campo Verde Solar Project in Imperial County, Calif.
Electricity generated by the Spectrum Solar Facility will serve a 25-year power purchase agreement with Nevada Power Company. Nevada Power Company and Sierra Pacific Power Company, the principal subsidiaries of NV Energy, Inc., do business as NV Energy. With a combined service territory of nearly 46,000 square miles, NV Energy provides a wide range of energy services and products to more than 2.4 million citizens of Nevada and more than 40 million tourists annually.
The Spectrum Solar Facility fits Southern Power's business strategy of growing the wholesale business in targeted markets through acquiring generating assets and building new units, the output of which is significantly 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. Southern Power and its subsidiaries own and operate 15 facilities in eight states, with more than 8,700 MW of generating capacity operating or under construction in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas.
SunEdison is a global leader in delivering solar power. The company develops, finances, installs and operates distributed power plants using proven photovoltaic technologies, delivering fully managed, predictably priced solar energy services for its commercial, government and utility customers. As of Dec. 31, 2012, SunEdison had interconnected over 989 megawatts of solar electricity throughout the world.
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 55,000 bison.
With 4.4 million customers and nearly 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 and listed by DiversityInc as a top company for Blacks. The company received the 2012 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.
SOURCE Southern Company