Community Energy sells latest big solar project to Southern Power

Community Energy announced June 2 that it delivered its second 100-plus MW solar project for construction, with the acquisition by Southern Co. (NYSE: SO) subsidiary Southern Power of its 103-MW (ac) Butler solar facility in Georgia.

The Butler Project will supply solar generation to Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power under a 30-year power purchase agreement. Georgia Power will have the option to keep or sell the RECs, for the benefit of its customers or renewable energy programs.

Community Energy said that it also originated and developed the 120-MW Comanche Solar Project in Colorado, which will supply solar generation to an Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) affiliate under a 25-year purchase agreement approved by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.

Community Energy has a pipeline of large solar projects in the East, Midwest and Rocky Mountain regions, a significant number of which are on track for completion before the end of 2016. First brought on line by California utilities, large-scale solar projects are now proving economic in other regions of the country. With a track record over the last decade in wind development, Community Energy launched its large-scale solar development effort in 2010.

“By developing projects on optimum solar sites with advanced tracking technology, we’ve been able to make solar energy a cost-effective choice for utilities and large energy users in multiple regions outside California,” said Brent Alderfer, President of Community Energy. “By building solar at scale we reduce costs, increase efficiencies and deliver significant environmental benefit.”

Since its inception in 1999, Community Energy has led the development and construction of more than 1,000 MW of wind and solar generating facilities. With offices in Boulder, Colo., and headquarters in Radnor, Pa., Community Energy has a strong presence in both western and eastern renewable energy markets.

Southern Power had announced May 21 that it is acquiring the 103-MW Butler solar facility from Community Energy. Southern Power noted in the May 21 statement that it 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 Co. 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.”

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.