Tops 350 MW of solar ownership in the state
Expanding on one of America's largest renewable portfolios, Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power today announced the acquisition of a controlling interest in the 200-megawatt (MW) Tranquillity Solar Facility in California from Recurrent Energy, a subsidiary of Canadian Solar Inc. One of North America's largest solar developers, Recurrent Energy is constructing the facility and will retain the remaining interest in the project.
"Southern Company's strategic solar expansion is helping diversify our energy mix while strengthening our industry leadership in solar," said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. "We will continue to develop the right projects and develop innovative solutions as we shape America's energy future."
The project, which represents Southern Power and Recurrent Energy's first partnership, is expected to generate enough clean solar energy to power approximately 55,000 homes when completed, helping California meet its ambitious carbon emission reduction goals.
"Southern Power's investment in the Tranquillity project is another example of solar power's move into the utility's diverse generation mix and further shows the Recurrent Energy team's ability to partner with energy industry leaders," said Canadian Solar Inc. Chairman and CEO Dr. Shawn Qu. "Through the development of utility-scale solar assets, Recurrent Energy and Canadian Solar are together ushering the way into a new era of clean, competitive, mainstream generation."
With one of America's most robust renewable generation portfolios, Southern Power has announced, acquired or is constructing more than 1,300 MW of renewable ownership with 19 solar, wind and biomass projects, including six solar projects in California. This 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.
The project is being constructed on 1,900 acres of land in Fresno County, California. Expected to create approximately 500 construction jobs, the facility will consist of more than 800,000 polycrystalline photovoltaic solar modules, mounted on tracking tables.
Construction began in July, with Signal Energy Constructors managing the engineering, procurement and construction of the facility. The project is expected to enter commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2016.
The electricity and associated renewable energy credits generated by the facility will be sold under a 15-year power purchase agreement with Southern California Edison.
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.