Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power announced an agreement to acquire the company’s largest renewable electric generating plant and first wind project–the 299-megawatt (MW) Kay Wind facility in Oklahoma–from Apex Clean Energy. The acquisition is expected to close in late 2015 upon successful completion of the project.
“Southern Company first earned a reputation as a national leader in renewables through Southern Power’s investments in utility-scale solar,” said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. “Through the acquisition of the Kay Wind project–the Southern Company system’s first wind facility and largest renewable energy project to date–we are further diversifying our generation portfolio by expanding to a region with abundant wind resources.”
The facility is being built and will be operated and maintained by Apex Clean Energy. Blattner Energy, Inc. has constructed 12 facilities in Oklahoma, and will serve as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor. The plant is expected to achieve commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Located in Kay County, Oklahoma, the project is expected to use 130 wind turbines manufactured by Siemens Energy, Inc., and will be capable of generating enough electricity to help meet the energy needs of approximately 100,000 average U.S. homes.
The electricity and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by the facility will be sold under 20-year power purchase agreements with Westar Energy, Inc. in Kansas and Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) in Oklahoma. Westar Energy, Inc. has contracted for approximately 199 MW, and GRDA has contracted for approximately 100 MW. Both companies will have the option to either keep or sell the RECs.
Serving nearly 700,000 customers for more than a century, Westar Energy, Inc. is Kansas’ largest electric utility. GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned, electric utility that directly or indirectly provides electricity to 75 of the 77 counties in the state.
With the addition of the Kay Wind project, Southern Power will own more than 970 MW of renewable energy generating capacity that is either already in operation or under development. The company owns seven solar projects in partnership with Turner Renewable Energy and one solar project in partnership with First Solar. Southern Power also owns one of the nation’s largest biomass power plants in Nacogdoches, Texas, and has recently announced plans to develop a 131-MW solar facility in Taylor County, Georgia, and two projects in south Georgia’s Decatur County totaling 99 MW.
The Kay 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 22 facilities operating or under construction in nine states with more than 9,400 MW of generating capacity in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Apex Clean Energy is an independent renewable energy company focused on building utility-scale generation facilities. Apex is constructing one of the nation’s largest, most-diversified portfolios of renewable energy resources, capable of producing more than 10,000 MW of clean energy. Apex has announced more than 750 MW of power purchase agreements since 2013. In the coming year, Apex will bring five new U.S. wind energy facilities online, comprising more than 1,000 MW of capacity. Apex will provide asset management services on four of these facilities, representing more than 800 MW of capacity.
With more than 4.5 million customers and approximately 46,000 MW of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company 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.
Filed Under: News, Projects