Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power today announced an agreement to acquire the company's second wind project - the 151-megawatt (MW) Grant Wind facility in Oklahoma - from Apex Clean Energy. The acquisition is expected to close in March 2016 upon successful completion of project construction.
"Southern Company is committed to the full portfolio and this project is an important step in further expanding our fuel mix," said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. "Our second wind project and one of Southern Power's more than 20 renewable projects across America, the Grant Wind facility is a smart investment that expands our company's presence in a region with exceptional wind resources."
In March, Southern Power announced an agreement to acquire its first wind project - the 299-MW Kay Wind facility in Oklahoma, also from Apex Clean Energy - which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015.
With the addition of the Grant Wind facility, Southern Power's renewable ownership is expected to reach more than 1,600 MW, with 21 solar, wind and biomass facilities either announced, acquired or under construction. Across its system, Southern Company has added or announced more than 3,400 MW of renewable generation since 2012.
Located in Grant County, Oklahoma, the project is expected to utilize 66 wind turbines manufactured by Siemens Energy Inc. and will be capable of generating enough electricity to help meet the energy needs of approximately 50,000 average U.S. homes.
Apex Clean Energy is managing the construction of Grant Wind and, upon completion, will operate and maintain the facility. IEA Renewable Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives (IEA), is serving as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor. Construction began in August, and the plant is expected to achieve commercial operation in March 2016.
The electricity and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by the facility will be sold under 20-year power purchase agreements with Western Farmers Electric Cooperative, East Texas Electric Cooperative and Northeast Texas Electric Cooperative. The companies have each contracted for approximately 50 MW and will have the option to either keep or sell the RECs.
The Grant Wind 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.
Southern Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, is a leading U.S. wholesale energy provider meeting the electricity needs of municipalities, electric cooperatives and investor-owned utilities. With the completion of this acquisition, Southern Power and its subsidiaries will own or have rights to 30 facilities operating or under construction in nine states with more than 10,200 MW of generating capacity in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas.