Flint Energies Joins Deal to Deploy Large Utility-Scale Solar Power System in Taylor County | Business
REYNOLDS/BUTLER, GA-Flint Energies, together with Cobb EMC and Sawnee EMC, will purchase the entire power output of a 131-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic (PV) solar project to be constructed outside of Butler, Georgia. The electric membership cooperatives inked the deal with Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power.
Southern Power selected First Solar to be the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the facility. Construction of the plant is scheduled to begin in September 2015, and the project is expected to achieve commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2016.
“Flint Energies continues to selectively secure renewable energy for the benefit of our members that supports long-term affordability, reliability, and diversification in our power generation portfolio,” said Flint Energies Chief Executive Officer Bob Ray. “The Taylor County solar project, which will be among the largest single-site projects east of the Mississippi River, will be an important contributor to meeting future power needs of the cooperative. Better yet, the project is the fourth renewable generation facility located in the Flint service area that will directly contribute to meeting Flint member power demand.”
The electricity generated by the facility will be sold under 25-year purchase power agreements to the participating electric cooperatives. It will be built in the Flint Energies service territory in Taylor County just off GA Hwy 96. Because all of the state’s electric utilities co-own the Integrated Transmission System (ITS), interconnections to the larger electric power grid are relatively simple.
Output of the power sale will be allocated as 101 megawatts to Cobb EMC, 15 megawatts to Sawnee EMC and 15 megawatts to Flint Energies.
How Big Will It Be?
The solar facility, which will be located on a 911-acre site in Taylor County, will consist of approximately 1.6 million thin-film PV modules mounted on single-axis tracking tables manufactured by First Solar. For some perspective, 911 acres is equal to 1.42 square miles of land area covered by PV cells. That will be the same as 826 football fields all tied together.
Just a few miles down the road from this solar generation site, Flint Energies was part of the state’s original renewable energy power generation at the Taylor County landfill in 2003 through Green Power EMC. Flint also partnered with the Houston County Commission for landfill gas generation at the county’s award-winning landfill in support of providing 100% renewable energy to the Museum of Aviation. Further, the co-op has integrated solar at a local commercial business, and assisted about a dozen members with integrating their own rooftop solar systems.
About First Solar www.firstsolar.com
First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar energy solutions. With over 8 gigawatts (GW) installed worldwide, its proven solar solutions diversify the energy portfolio and reduce the risk of fuel-price volatility while delivering a levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) that is cost competitive with fossil fuels today. By integrating technologies and expertise across the entire solar value chain, First Solar delivers PV energy solutions that maximize the value of PV investments while minimizing their risk. Having developed, financed, engineered, constructed, and operating some of the world’s largest and most successful PV power plants in existence, First Solar has become the partner of choice for customers globally.
About Cobb EMC www.cobbemc.com
Cobb Electric Membership Corporation (Cobb EMC), a not-for-profit electric cooperative, safely delivers reliable electricity to more than 175,000 residential and commercial members in Cobb, Bartow, Cherokee, Fulton, and Paulding counties. Cobb EMC’s distribution system consists of 9,137 miles of line over 432 square miles. With more than 194,000 meters served, Cobb EMC is one of the largest of Georgia's 41 EMCs and among the largest of the nation's 900 EMCs.
About Sawnee EMC www.sawnee.com
Sawnee Electric Membership Corporation is an electric distribution cooperative headquartered in Cumming, Georgia. Sawnee serves electricity to approximately 158,600 accounts in seven (7) counties of greater north Georgia. Sawnee’s assets exceed $524 million, with energy sales of 3.6 billion kWh and annual revenue of $354 million. With a team of approximately 305 dedicated professionals and over 10,150 miles of distribution line, Sawnee stands ready at all times to meet the needs of its members/owners.
About Flint Energies www.flintenergies.com
Flint Energies is a not-for-profit cooperative owned by thousands of members in parts of 17 central Georgia counties. Flint directly employs 233 employees and serves more than 86,400 electric meters. We are 100% locally-controlled and democratically governed by 11 members elected from among the membership. In 1937, Flint Energies was created to bring people together to meet common needs like reliable electric energy, and our mission remains focused on improving the quality of life in Middle Georgia.
This institution (each electric cooperative) is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
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Flint Energies online at www.flintenergies.com