Southern Company buys 102MW Texas solar farm

After raising over €1bn in a bond issuance in June, the US utility has made its third acquisition in the state this year from RES America Developments.

Southern Power, a subsidiary of US utility Southern Company, has acquired a 102MW solar project in Texas from RES America Developments.

Southern Power's acquisition of the Lamesa Solar Facility is its third solar transaction in Texas this year. The company will sell the electricity generated at Lamesa, and the associated renewable energy credits, under a 15-year power-purchase agreement to the City of Garland, outside of Dallas.

Construction on the project is to begin this month and should be complete in mid-2017. RES, which is building the plant, will provide maintenance after it becomes operational.

In June, Southern Power completed its second green bond issuance of 2016. At the time, it said that the proceeds would help expand its clean energy portfolio in the US, which generates 2.5GW from 27 solar, wind and biomass projects. Its latest green bond offer tapped the European market for a total of €1.1 billion. It raised $1 billion last November when it became the first investment-grade utility in the US to offer green bonds. 

Its 4.5 million customers are mainly in the southeastern states of Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi, but it also has renewable assets in California, Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. 

Southern Company is in the midst of efforts to diversify its portfolio away from the 73 coal, oil, gas and hydro plants it operates. It generates 9.6GW of electricity, 3.8GW of which are accounted for by renewable capacity it has added since 2012.