May 17, 2020

Southern Company Buys New Mexicos Biggest Solar Farm From First Solar

Southern Company
Turner Renewable Energy
Macho Springs Sol
Admin
2 min
Southern Company has bought New Mexico's largest solar farm from First Solar.
Southern Company has announced that it has partnered with Turner Renewable Energy to buy Macho Springs Solar Facility, the largest solar facility in New...

Southern Company has announced that it has partnered with Turner Renewable Energy to buy Macho Springs Solar Facility, the largest solar facility in New Mexico, from First Solar.  The purchase of the 50-megawatt facility marks the seventh joint acquisition for Southern Company and Turner Renewable Energy.

In a recent press release on the project, Southern Company chairman, president, and CEO Thomas Fanning stated, “In partnership with Turner Renewable Energy, Southern Company has created one of the nation’s largest solar portfolios.  Our strategic solar expansion demonstrates our commitment to the full portfolio of energy resources.”

First Solar began construction of the Macho Springs Solar Facility in July of 2013.  Operation is targeted for the third week of June.  The facility is slated to produce enough energy to power 18,000 homes.  Southern Company’s press release quoted First Solar as saying it was “pleased to provide another best-in-class PV (photovoltaic) power plant to the partnership’s growing renewable energy portfolio.” 

Southern Company and Turner Renewable Energy previously purchased two other solar facilities from First Solar: a 139 MW California farm and a 30 MW farm in New Mexico.  Turner Renewable Energy is a division of Turner Enterprises.

Southern Company was founded in 1945 and is currently the fourth largest utility company in the United States and the 16th largest in the world.  It boasts more than 500,000 shareholders and has been traded since 1949.  The company owns

four retail electric companies: Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power and Mississippi Power, which, combined, serve over 120,000 square miles in four states.

The electricity produced from this facility has already been sold to utility El Paso Electric via a 20-year power purchase agreement.  El Paso Electric is a regional electric utility providing generation, transmission and distribution service to approximately 394,000 retail and wholesale customers in a 10,000 square mile area of the Rio Grande valley in west Texas and southern New Mexico.

“The Macho Springs Solar Facility purchase power agreement will make El Paso Electric a national leader in cost-effective solar energy technologies,” said EPE Chief Executive Officer Tom Shockley in Southern Company’s press release. “El Paso Electric looks forward to this new partnership to continue our commitment to build a portfolio that includes renewable energy technologies to help us make overall power in our region dependable, safe and cleaner to our 394,000 customers.”

 

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May 13, 2021

All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency

schools
energyefficiency
Renewables
Dominic Ellis
2 min
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only UK regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil

Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.

Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.

According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.

Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.

“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."

He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."

North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).

The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.

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