Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power has announced the acquisition of two photovoltaic (PV) solar projects totaling 99 megawatts (MW) in Georgia – the 80-MW Decatur Parkway Solar Project and the 19-MW Decatur County Solar Project – from Tradewind Energy, Inc.
The projects were proposed by Tradewind Energy, Inc. and selected by Southern Company subsidiary Georgia Power in a competitive process through the nationally recognized Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative.
“Southern Power’s strategic investment in the Decatur solar projects will help meet Georgia’s growing energy needs,” said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. “These projects and others are enhancing Georgia’s position as a national leader in renewable energy.”
The electricity and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by the 80-MW facility will be sold under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Georgia Power. Construction of the 80-MW facility is currently scheduled to begin this month.
Georgia Power will purchase the energy generated from the 19-MW project under a 20-year PPA. Southern Power will retain the associated RECs, which it may sell to third parties. Construction of the 19-MW facility is currently scheduled to begin in June.
Both projects, which are expected to enter commercial operation in late 2015, will be constructed on separate sites totaling approximately 950 acres in south Georgia’s Decatur County using single-axis tracking technology – optimizing efficiency by directing solar panels to track the sun.
With the development of the Decatur County projects, Southern Power will own approximately 670 MW of renewable energy generating capacity that is either already in operation or under development.
The company owns seven solar projects in partnership with Turner Renewable Energy and one solar project in partnership with First Solar. Southern Power also owns one of the nation’s largest biomass power plants in Nacogdoches, Texas, and has recently announced plans to develop a 131-MW solar facility in Taylor County, Georgia, which is expected to be completed in 2016.
The Decatur County projects fit Southern Power’s business strategy of growing its wholesale business through the acquisition and construction of generating assets substantially covered by long-term contracts