Southern Company subsidiary acquires 139-megawatt solar plant and more than
doubles solar generating capacity
ATLANTA, April 23, 2013
ATLANTA, April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Southern Company (NYSE: SO) today
announced the acquisition of the company's largest solar installation – the
139-megawatt (MW) Campo Verde Solar Project – by subsidiary Southern Power and
Turner Renewable Energy from First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR). The Southern
Power-Turner Renewable Energy partnership's fifth solar acquisition and its
first solar project in California, the Campo Verde Solar Project will more
than double Southern Company's solar capacity and is expected to generate
enough electricity to power nearly 48,000 homes.
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"When it comes to developing the full portfolio of energy resources, Southern
Company is developing solutions – not rhetoric," said Southern Company
Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. "By acquiring the Campo Verde
Solar Project – our largest solar installation to date – we're more than
doubling our solar capacity and increasing the diversity of our generation
The Campo Verde Solar Project will be built, operated and maintained by First
Solar, a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar
systems utilizing its advanced thin-film modules.
Ted Turner, owner of Turner Renewable Energy, teamed with Southern Company
through a subsidiary in January 2010 to form a strategic alliance to pursue
development of renewable energy projects in the United States. The partnership
has primarily focused on developing and investing in large-scale solar PV
projects in the Southwest, where solar resources are most available.
The partnership's first project was the acquisition and development of the
30-MW Cimarron Solar Facility, also built by First Solar, on land adjacent to
Turner's Vermejo Park Ranch near Raton, N.M. The partnership made three other
purchases prior to acquiring the Campo Verde Solar Project – the 20-MW Apex
Solar Facility and the 30-MW Spectrum Solar Facility, both of which are
located in Clark County, Nev., and the 2.5-MW Granville Solar Facility in
Granville County, N.C.
"This partnership was created to explore large-scale solar power generation
projects, and acquiring this facility is another positive step in achieving
our goal," said Turner. "Turner Renewable Energy is excited to be a partner in
this project and to continue our collaboration with Southern Company."
According to an independent study conducted for Imperial County, Calif., the
Campo Verde Solar Project will have an economic impact to the Imperial County
area totaling about $239 million over the next 30 years. It is expected to
contribute $17.5 million in local tax revenue. First Solar estimates the
project will provide an average of 250 jobs during the construction period.
Construction of the plant began in December 2012 and commercial operation is
targeted for fall 2013. The Campo Verde Solar Project is located on a
1,443-acre site in Imperial County.
"We are pleased that Southern Company and Turner Renewable Energy have once
again chosen a First Solar project to add to their renewable energy
portfolio," said James F. Cook, First Solar director of Project Development.
"The Campo Verde project is another state-of-the-art design which seamlessly
integrates First Solar's advanced thin-film solar modules with our leading
power plant controls and grid-integration technology. By leading the project
from development through engineering, construction and operations, we are able
to offer the highest performance and greatest reliability."
Electricity generated by the plant will serve a 20-year power purchase
agreement with San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E), a subsidiary of
Sempra Energy. Headquartered in San Diego, SDG&E provides energy service to
3.4 million people through 1.4 million electric meters and 850,000 natural gas
meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties.
The acquisition fits Southern Power's business strategy of growing the
wholesale business in targeted markets through acquiring generating assets and
building new units, the output of which is significantly covered by long-term
contracts. California's Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) is one of the most
ambitious renewable energy standards in the country. The RPS program requires
investor-owned utilities, publicly owned utilities, electric service providers
and community choice aggregators to increase procurement from eligible
renewable energy resources to 33 percent of retail sales by the end of 2020.
Southern Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, is among the largest
wholesale energy providers in the Southeast, meeting the electricity needs of
municipalities, electric cooperatives and investor-owned utilities. Southern
Power and its subsidiaries own and operate more than 8,600 MW of generating
capacity with facilities in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina,
Texas and New Mexico, and with an additional 30 MW under construction in
First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic solar
systems which use its advanced thin-film modules. The company's integrated
power plant solutions deliver an economically attractive alternative to
fossil-fuel electricity generation today. From raw material sourcing through
end-of-life module recycling, First Solar's renewable energy systems protect
and enhance the environment.
Turner Renewable Energy is wholly owned by Ted Turner. Turner Enterprises,
Inc., a private company, manages the business interests, land holdings and
investments of Ted Turner, including the oversight of 2 million acres in 12
states and in Argentina, and more than 55,000 bison.
With 4.4 million customers and nearly 46,000 megawatts of generating capacity,
Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier energy company
serving the Southeast through its subsidiaries. A leading U.S. producer of
clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity, Southern Company owns
electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation
company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company
brands are known for energy innovation, excellent customer service, high
reliability and retail electric prices that are below the national average.
Southern Company and its subsidiaries are leading the nation's nuclear
renaissance through the construction of the first new nuclear units to be
built in a generation of Americans and are demonstrating their commitment to
energy innovation through the development of a state-of-the-art coal
gasification plant. Southern Company has been recognized by the U.S.
Department of Defense and G.I. Jobs magazine as a top military employer and
listed by DiversityInc as a top company for Blacks. The company received the
2012 Edison Award from the Edison Electric Institute for its leadership in new
nuclear development, was named Electric Light & Power magazine's Utility of
the Year for 2012 and is continually ranked among the top utilities in
Fortune's annual World's Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility rankings. Visit
our website at www.southerncompany.com.
Certain information contained in this release is forward-looking information
based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties.
Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements
concerning completion of ongoing construction projects, generation mix, and
economic impacts. Southern Company cautions that there are certain factors
that can cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking
information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue
reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of
future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other
factors, many of which are outside the control of Southern Company;
accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be
realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Southern
Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012, and
subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially
from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information:
the impact of recent and future federal and state regulatory changes, as well
as changes in application of existing laws and regulations; current and future
litigation, regulatory investigations, proceedings, or inquiries; the effects,
extent, and timing of the entry of additional competition in the markets in
which Southern Company's subsidiaries operate; variations in demand for
electricity; any potential economic impacts resulting from federal fiscal
decisions; ability to control costs and avoid cost overruns during the
development and construction of facilities, to construct facilities in
accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses, and to satisfy any
operational and environmental performance standards, including the
requirements of tax credits and other incentives; advances in technology;
potential business strategies, including acquisitions or dispositions of
assets or businesses, which cannot be assured to be completed or beneficial to
Southern Company or its subsidiaries; the ability of counterparties of
Southern Company and its subsidiaries to make payments as and when due and to
perform as required; the ability to obtain new short- and long-term contracts
with wholesale customers; and catastrophic events such as fires, earthquakes,
explosions, floods, hurricanes, droughts, pandemic health events such as
influenzas, or other similar occurrences; the direct or indirect effects on
the Southern Company system's business resulting from incidents affecting the
U.S. electric grid or operation of generating resources. Southern Company
expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information.
SOURCE Southern Company
Contact: Southern Company Media Relations, 404-506-5333 or 866-506-5333
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