Southern, Turner buy in-construction Calipatria solar project in California

Southern Co. (NYSE: SO) subsidiary Southern Power and Turner Renewable Energy on Feb. 15 announced the joint acquisition of the 20-MW Calipatria Solar Facility from Solar Frontier Americas.

The project represents Southern Power’s 10th solar facility in California and its 25th renewable energy facility overall.

“The acquisition of the Calipatria Solar Facility underscores Southern Power’s leadership in helping create America’s energy future,” said Southern Co. Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. “Through strategic partnerships, including with Turner Renewable Energy, we are continuing our tremendous growth as a national renewable energy leader.”

With more than 1,800 MW of generating capacity ownership, Southern Power assembled its renewable portfolio through the strategic development of 25 solar, wind and biomass projects either in operation or under development across the United States. In all, the Southern Co. system has added or announced more than 3,800 MW of renewable energy projects since 2012.

Media magnate Ted Turner, owner of Turner Renewable Energy, teamed with Southern Co. through a subsidiary in January 2010 to form a strategic alliance to pursue the development of renewable energy projects in the United States. The partnership has primarily focused on developing and investing in large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in the Southwest. The company’s ninth solar acquisition with Turner Renewable Energy, the Calipatria project brings the partnership’s overall solar capacity to more than 340 MW operating or under development.

“The acquisition of the Calipatria Solar Facility is an important effort to further develop clean, renewable energy through this outstanding partnership,” said Turner. “We are pleased to continue growing the solar portfolio in collaboration with Southern Company.”

The Calipatria 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. The project is expected to be located on approximately 160 acres in Imperial County and is expected to consist of approximately 130,000 CIS thin-film solar modules.

DEPCOM Power is providing engineering, procurement and construction services. Construction of the plant began in August 2015, and commercial operation is expected in the first quarter of 2016. The facility has a 20-year power purchase agreement with San Diego Gas & Electric.

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.