Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power today announced the acquisition of a controlling interest in the 200-megawatt (MW) Garland solar facility under construction in California from Recurrent Energy, a subsidiary of Canadian Solar Inc. Southern Power now owns more than 650 MW across nine operating or planned facilities in California.
"Our solar expansion in California began in earnest with our acquisition of the Campo Verde solar project in 2013," said Southern Power President and CEO Oscar C. Harper. "Since then, our strategic acquisitions – both in the state of California and nationally – have created one of America's largest renewable portfolios with more than 1,800 MW of generation in seven states."
One of North America's largest solar developers, Recurrent Energy is constructing the facility and will retain the remaining interest in the project. Southern Power and Recurrent Energy have now announced the development of three jointly owned projects that together are expected to generate more than 550 MW of solar electricity in California and Texas. Upon completion, the Garland solar facility is expected to be capable of generating enough solar energy to meet the energy needs of approximately 45,000 homes.
"With this agreement, Recurrent Energy and Southern Power are partnering to bring more than half a gigawatt of solar power online by the end of 2016," said Canadian Solar Chairman and CEO Dr. Shawn Qu. "Southern Power's commitment to renewables underscores the important role of solar and is a clear indicator that our large-scale solar facilities are attractive assets."
Construction of the Garland solar facility began this month, with Signal Energy Constructors managing the engineering, procurement and construction of the facility. The project is being built on two sites totaling approximately 2,000 acres in Kern County, California, and is expected to create more than 300 construction jobs. The Garland solar facility is Southern Power's fourth solar project in Kern County.
The facility will consist of more than 800,000 polycrystalline photovoltaic solar modules, mounted on single-axis tracking tables, and is expected to enter commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2016.
The electricity and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by the facility will be sold under two long-term power purchase agreements with Southern California Edison (SCE), which will have the option to keep or sell the RECs.
The 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.
With one of America's most robust renewable generation portfolios, Southern Power has announced, acquired or is constructing more than 1,800 MW of owned renewable generation with 24 solar, wind and biomass projects, including nine solar projects in California. The Garland Solar Facility adds further diversity and reliability to the Southern Company system's generation mix of nuclear, 21st century coal, natural gas, renewables and energy efficiency.