Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power continues to strengthen its position as a national leader in developing renewable energy resources by acquiring the 103-megawatt (MW) Butler solar energy facility in Taylor County, Georgia, from Community Energy Inc.
"The Butler solar facility builds on Southern Company's innovative approach to diversifying our nation's energy mix," said Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning. "Our strategic development of solar in Georgia continues our company's expansion of renewable energy generation in the Southeast."
Southern Power has acquired or is constructing more than 1,100-MW of renewable energy generating capacity at 16 solar, wind and biomass projects, including four solar projects in Georgia.
Located on approximately 1,070 acres, the Butler project is expected to consist of more than 1 million thin-film photovoltaic solar modules mounted on single-axis tracking tables. Construction is slated to begin in September, and the facility is expected to enter commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2016.
First Solar Inc. will manage the facility's construction, operations and maintenance.
Initially developed by Community Energy, the Butler project was selected by Georgia Power in a competitive process through the nationally recognized Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative. The electricity and associated renewable energy credits generated by the facility will be sold under a 30-year power purchase agreement with Georgia Power, which will have the option to keep or sell the credits for the benefit of customers or renewable energy programs.
Southern Power is also developing a previously announced solar facility in Taylor County, Georgia, and two solar projects in Decatur County, Georgia.