ATLANTA, May 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.
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 this acquisition, Southern Power and its subsidiaries will own or have the option to own 25 facilities in nine states, with more than 9,700 MW of generating capacity operating or under development in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma 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 Butler solar facility and the future generating capacity of Southern Power and its subsidiaries' facilities. 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, 2014, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: the ability to control costs and avoid cost overruns during the development and construction of generating facilities, to construct facilities in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses, and to satisfy any operational and environmental performance standards, including the requirements of tax credits and other incentives; 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.
SOURCE Southern Company