Southern Power adds to its growing renewable portfolio

The non-utility subsidiary of Southern (NYSE:SO) announced March 7 that it has purchased the 120-MW East Pecos Solar Facility in Texas, which recently entered construction.

The transaction marks the acquisition of Southern Power’s second solar project in Texas and its 35th generating facility overall. The news release did not disclose a purchase price for the East Pecos solar project.

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) is building and will operate and maintain the facility. Construction began in February and the facility is expected to reach commercial operation in the fourth quarter 2016.

On Nov. 30, 2015, Southern Power announced the acquisition of a controlling interest in its first solar project in Texas – the 157-MW Roserock Solar Facility.

The East Pecos Solar Facility will be located on approximately 1,000 acres in Pecos County and is expected to consist of approximately 1.2 million of First Solar’s thin-film, photovoltaic solar modules mounted on single-axis tracking tables.

With more than 1,900 MW of renewable generating capacity ownership, Southern Power assembled its nationally recognized renewable portfolio through the strategic development of 26 solar, wind and biomass projects either in operation or under development across the United States. In all, the Southern Company system has added or announced more than 3,800 MW of renewable energy projects since 2012.

The East Pecos 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’s acquisition of the East Pecos Solar Facility underscores the company’s commitment to strategically develop renewables across America,” said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. “This project aligns with its conservative business model as Southern Power has built one of the nation’s largest renewable energy portfolios.”

News of the solar project purchase, comes only days after a Southern regulated utility, Mississippi Power, broke ground on several solar projects in Mississippi.

A subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern, Southern Power and its subsidiaries own or have the rights to 35 facilities operating or under construction in nine states with more than 10,500 MW of generating capacity in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.