Southern Power buys 102-MW Lamesa solar project in Texas

Southern Co. (NYSE: SO) subsidiary Southern Power on July 7 announced the acquisition of its third Texas solar project in less than a year – the 102-MW Lamesa Solar Facility from RES America Developments.

“The Lamesa project is an excellent fit for Southern Power’s business model,” said Southern Power President and CEO Buzz Miller. “We are committed to developing renewable energy sources and are pleased with the continued growth of our solar portfolio.”

Southern Power will sell the electricity and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by the facility under a 15-year power purchase agreement to the city of Garland. RES, which provides development, engineering, construction and operation services to renewable energy, energy storage and transmission markets across the Americas, co-developed the Lamesa project with the originating developer, BNB Renewable Energy Holdings.

RES will construct and serve as the operations and maintenance contractor for the facility, which is located on 887 acres in Dawson County, Texas, and expected to consist of 410,000 photovoltaic solar panels. Construction activities are set to begin in July, and the facility is expected to be commercially operational by mid-year 2017.

With more than 2,200 MW of renewable generating capacity ownership, Southern Power assembled its renewable portfolio through the strategic acquisition or development of 29 solar, wind and biomass projects that are either in operation or under construction across the United States. In all, the Southern Co. system has added or announced more than 4,000 MW of renewable energy projects since 2012.

Southern Power supplies wholesale generation to more than 40 energy customers that serve more than 40 million end users across the country. The Lamesa project 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.

Renewable Energy Systems (RES) on July 7 separately announced that it will construct and serve as the operations and maintenance contractor for the Lamesa Solar Facility. The project’s originating developer, BNB, began working with landowners, local officials and community leaders in late 2013, and in mid-2015 entered into a joint development agreement with RES to complete the project.

The project will employ approximately 300 workers during peak construction, will have three or more full-time O&M jobs, and will operate for up to 30 years.

“This project is our third and largest solar project in Texas, having already constructed more than 70 MW in the state,” said Chad Horton, VP, RES Development, Americas. “We look forward to working with BNB to bring more solar energy online in Texas. RES has been committed to bringing renewable energy to the state, having developed and or constructed more than 2,300 MW of wind to date.”

“A lot of important stakeholders worked together to make this project happen,” said Jos Nicholas, a partner at BNB, which also developed two utility-scale wind farms (totaling nearly 400 MW) and a utility-scale solar project in Texas, all of which are operational. “On behalf of Southern, RES, and BNB, I want to thank the many landowners and City of Lamesa and Dawson County officials who played an instrumental role throughout the development process.”

Since 1997, RES has been providing development, engineering, construction, and operations services to the utility-scale wind, solar, transmission, and energy storage markets across the Americas. The company employs more than 500 full-time professionals and has over 8,000 MW of utility-scale renewable energy and energy storage projects and constructed more than 1,000 miles of transmissions lines throughout the U.S.,Canada, and Chile. RES’ corporate office in the U.S. is located in Broomfield, CO.

BNB Renewable Energy Holdings, with offices in New York City, Boston, Austin, and Exton, Pa., has developed and constructed nearly 500 MW of commercial- and utility-scale wind, solar and biogas power plants throughout the United States, with an additional 1 GW under active development in the U.S., Mexico and South America.

Southern Power and its subsidiaries own or have the rights to 38 facilities operating or under construction in 10 states with more than 10,800 MW of generating capacity in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas.

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.