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27 April 2015

Southern Power acquires controlling stake in First Solar's 32MW Lost Hills-Blackwell project

US wholesale energy provider Southern Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company, has acquired a controlling stake in the 32MW Lost Hills-Blackwell Solar Facility in California from cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film photovoltaic module maker First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA. The remaining interest in the project will be owned by an affiliate of First Solar.

The facility spans two sites - the 20MW Lost Hills Solar Facility and the 12MW Blackwell Solar Facility - comprising a combined 308 acres of adjoining land in Kern County. The project consists of more than 454,000 of modules mounted on single-axis tracking tables. Construction of the project began in April 2014, and is expected to be completed shortly after the acquisition. The facility will be operated and maintained by First Solar. In its first year, Lost Hills-Blackwell will be capable of producing enough energy to power more than 11,000 homes.

The electricity and associated renewable energy credits generated by the facility will be sold under long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and Roseville Electric. Headquartered in San Francisco, PG&E provides energy to about 16 million people in Northern and Central California. Roseville Electric serves as the community-owned electric utility provider for the city of Roseville, California.

"In addition to assets Southern Power has acquired from First Solar, we have worked together directly on construction and supply of technology for projects across the USA," says Brian Kunz, First Solar's VP of project development for the Western United States. 

With the addition of this and other announced projects, Southern Power will own about 990MW of renewable energy generating capacity that is either already in operation or under development. The firm recently agreed to acquire its largest renewable electric generating plant and first wind project. In addition, it has previously announced the acquisition of seven solar projects in partnership with Turner Renewable Energy and one project in partnership with First Solar. Southern Power is also developing a 131MW solar facility in Taylor County, Georgia, and two solar projects totaling 99MW in Decatur County, Georgia.

The Lost Hills-Blackwell Solar Facility 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.

See related items:

First Solar sells 150MW Solar Gen 2 project to Southern Power

Tags: First Solar Thin-film photovoltaic CdTe

Visit: www.firstsolar.com

Visit: www.southerncompany.com

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