Southern Co. buys first solar project in Texas | Business News

Southern Co. buys first solar project in Texas

1 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Southern Company buys planned Texas solar farm.

The Atlanta-based Southern Company is buying the controlling interest in a massive planned solar farm in Texas as the utility giant makes its first renewable power entrance into the Lone Star State.

If a home or business has a rooftop solar system, most of the wattage isn’t included in the ambitious requirement to generate half of the state’s electricity from renewable sources such as solar and wind by 2030, part of legislation signed in October by Gov.In a major boost to energy efficiency activities, the State government has decided to adopt latest technologies and best practices in advanced countries for harnessing renewable energy at an affordable price to consumers particularly in domestic sector. Southern Company said it bought a 51 percent stake for an undisclosed sum in the planned 157-megawatt Roserock solar facility in Pecos County near Fort Stockton. The latest addition to one of America’s largest renewable portfolios, the facility is being developed by Recurrent Energy, a subsidiary of Canadian Solar Inc., which will retain the remaining interest in the project. “Southern Power’s first solar project in Texas helps further the company’s robust wholesale business and further expands our solar footprint,” said Southern Power President and CEO Oscar C. Financial institutions are pressed to disinvest shares in fossil fuel industries by the “Keep it in the ground” campaign launched by NGOs and the media.

The Roserock solar farm will provide power to the city of Austin and surrounding areas through a 20-year power purchase agreement with the municipally owned Austin Energy. Chandrababu Naidu has suggested to the Central government to initiate steps to unite all countries having vast potential of solar power to form a conclave for exchanging technologies that harness the renewable energy sources.

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to raise the issue of forming an International Solar Alliance (ISA) with the President of France during the United Nations Climate Change Summit to be held in Paris from November 30, the idea of bringing countries on to a single platform for tapping solar and other forms of renewable energy is taking shape, the Chief Minister has observed. The rooftop solar industry and consumer advocates say opposition to including rooftop solar in California’s renewable energy mandate came from large developers that feared competition for subsidies as well as unions that were upset because rooftop solar installers typically aren’t members.

The solar facility on 1,300 acres will have 700,000 photovoltaic solar panels and be able to power 30,000 Texas homes during normal conditions. “Cost-competitive, large-scale solar power has enormous potential in Texas,” said Canadian Solar Chairman and CEO Shawn Qu in the announcement. “The Roserock project and Recurrent Energy’s solar project pipeline in the state are each important steps forward as Texas approaches the more than 13 gigawatts of solar that has been forecasted across the state.” Texas leads the nation by far in wind power, but the Electric Reliability Council of Texas projects the fastest growing generation source in the state for the next 15 years will be solar. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia include rooftop solar panels in their mandates for clean energy, with varying benefits for participants. This facility will add further diversity and reliability to the Southern Company system’s generation mix of nuclear, 21st century coal, natural gas, renewables and energy efficiency. Southern Power and its subsidiaries own or have rights to 32 facilities in nine states, with more than 10,300 MW of generating capacity operating or under development in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas.

Given the total cost of building large generators, transmission and distributing that electricity, Del Chiaro said, utility customers will continue to see higher rates as state policy builds two sets of electricity systems — one on rooftops, the other with big-box power plants in the desert. Kip Lipper, a state Senate staffer who helped draft the legislation setting the 50% renewable energy benchmark, said the clean-energy mandate wasn’t designed to deny rooftop solar owners but to ensure that the utilities did their part in curbing carbon pollution. Additional details are available at: www.recurrentenergy.com Founded in 2001 in Canada, Canadian Solar (NASDAQ: CSIQ) is one of the world’s largest and foremost solar power companies. As a leading manufacturer of solar photovoltaic modules and a provider of solar energy solutions, Canadian Solar has a geographically diversified pipeline of utility-scale power projects. The fact that most consumers read a constant price in their electricity bill does not help: the price does not reflect variations in supply and therefore even consumers who could react to supply variability do not.

Intermittency in electricity supply combined with a retail electricity price that is constant in time forces electricity providers to back-up new wind farms and PV installations with reliable sources of energy, mostly thermal power plants burning fossil fuel. The support to renewable energy through generous feed-in tariffs and ambitious renewable portfolio standards does increase investment in new wind and solar power production equipment.

A 30% federal tax credit that has helped homeowners and businesses acquire rooftop solar expires at the end of 2016 and may not be restored to that level — and possibly not at all for residential customers. This translates into lower electricity prices in the wholesale market, as experienced in Germany when wholesale prices are sometime close to zero and even negative.

Cheap electricity is not good for the climate, specifically because of the back-up necessity: consumers keep on consuming large quantities of electricity produced from fossil fuel to cope with intermittency. Utility companies argue that rooftop solar users don’t pay their fair share for power lines, transformers, wires and other costs associated with maintaining the electric grid. The company earned the 2014 National Award of Nuclear Science and History from the National Atomic Museum Foundation for its leadership and commitment to nuclear development, and is continually ranked among the top utilities in Fortune’s annual World’s Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility rankings. Certain statements in this press release regarding the Company’s expected future shipment volumes, gross margins, business prospects and future quarterly or annual results, particularly the management quotations and the statements in the “Business Outlook” section, are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially.

But she said she didn’t know that she wasn’t contributing to the state’s clean-energy mandate and missing out on a $50 certificate every time her system generates 1,000 kilowatt hours. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by such terms as “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “estimates,” the negative of these terms, or other comparable terminology. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in the forward looking statements are reasonable, it cannot guarantee future results, level of activity, performance, or achievements. The retired retail sales worker said the solar system has helped her avoid $80 to $90 electric bills in the hottest months and $40 to $50 bills during other months.

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/southern-company-subsidiary-acquires-first-solar-project-in-texas-300185169.html

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