Southern Power buys first Texas solar facility

30 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Déjà vu in Paris: 21st time lucky?.

ATLANTA, Nov. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power today announced the acquisition of a controlling interest in the 157-megawatt (MW) Roserock solar facility – the company’s first solar project in Texas – from Recurrent Energy, one of North America’s largest solar developers.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. Harper. “With strategic acquisitions nationally, the continued development of industry-leading assets aligns with our company’s low-risk strategy and enhances one of America’s largest renewable portfolios.” Representing Southern Power and Recurrent Energy’s second partnership arrangement, the project, currently under construction, is expected to enter commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2016. “Cost-competitive, large-scale solar power has enormous potential in Texas,” said Canadian Solar Inc.

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 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. Located on 1,300 acres of land in Pecos County, Texas, the facility will consist of approximately 700,000 Canadian Solar CS6X-P photovoltaic solar modules, mounted on single axis trackers.

Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia include rooftop solar panels in their mandates for clean energy, with varying benefits for participants. I remember people including United Nations secretary-general, Lord Stern, and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown all agreeing that the 2009 global warming meeting in Copenhagen was the world’s very ‘last chance’. “If we do not reach a deal,” Brown went so far as to say, “no retrospective global agreement in some future period can undo that choice. 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. Large producers of solar and other renewable energy earn a clean-energy credit every time they send the electric grid 1,000 kilowatt hours — roughly the amount of electricity an average home consumes in a month.

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. 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. Instead of hoping that the experiment will succeed on the 21st go, the leaders should change course and invest a lot more in research and development of green energy technology. 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.

With more than 4.5 million customers and approximately 46,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier energy company serving the Southeast through its subsidiaries. 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. But I can tell you one thing for sure right now: history suggests this “last chance” will unfortunately come and go with no real impact on temperature rises. 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. 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. 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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