Southern Company gains controlling stake in Recurrent Energy’s Tranquility Solar Power Project
Southern Company is making significant strides forward toward growth and expansion this year. Just last week the utility company announced its $12 billion acquisition of natural gas provider AGL Resources Inc. Now Southern Company has acquired a controlling interest in the 200-megawatt (MW) Tranquility Solar Power Project currently under construction in Fresno, California.
The Tranquility project is being developed by Recurrent Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of massive solar company Canadian Solar Inc, with further engineering, construction and procurement services provided through Signal Energy Constructors. According to a press release from Canadian Solar, the Tranquility project will cover 1,900 acres of land in Fresno County and will ultimately generate enough solar energy to power 55,000 homes—the project’s owners will sell this electricity along with renewable energy credits to Southern California Edison as part of a 15-year power purchase agreement.
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"The Tranquillity project is an attractive opportunity for investors, providing long term stable cash flows," said Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar, in the press release announcing Southern Company’s investment. "This transaction is another example of solar power's move into the mainstream energy mix, and it shows our broader team's ability to attract top notch investors to finance our high-quality projects."
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The deal at hand sees Southern Company acquiring a 51 percent controlling interest in the Tranquility project for an as of yet undisclosed amount. Meanwhile Recurrent Energy parent company Canadian Solar will retain the remaining 49 percent ownership.
Toyota unveils electric van and Volvo opens fuel cell lab
Toyota is launching its first zero emission battery electric vehicle, the Proace Electric medium-duty panel van, across Europe.
The model, which offers a choice of 50 or 75kWh lithium-ion batteries with range of up to 205 miles, is being rolled out in the UK, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden.
At present, alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs, including battery electric vehicles) account for only a fraction – around 1.8 per cent – of new light commercial van sales in the UK, but a number of factors are accelerating demand for practical alternatives to vans with conventional internal combustion engines.
Low and zero emission zones are coming into force to reduce local pollution and improve air quality in urban centres, at the same time as rapid growth in ecommerce is generating more day-to-day delivery traffic.
Meanwhile the opening of Volvo's first dedicated fuel cell test lab in Volvo Group, marks a significant milestone in the manufacturer’s ambition to be fossil-free by 2040.
Fuel cells work by combining hydrogen with oxygen, with the resulting chemical reaction producing electricity. The process is completely emission-free, with water vapour being the only by-product.
Toni Hagelberg, Head of Sustainable Power at Volvo CE, says fuel cell technology is a key enabler of sustainable solutions for heavier construction machines, and this investment provides another vital tool in its work to reach targets.
"The lab will also serve Volvo Group globally, as it’s the first to offer this kind of advanced testing," he said.
The Fuel Cell Test Lab is a demonstration of the same dedication to hydrogen fuel cell technology, as the recent launch of cell centric, a joint venture by Volvo Group and Daimler Truck to accelerate the development, production and commercialization of fuel cell solutions within long-haul trucking and beyond. Both form a key part of the Group’s overall ambition to be 100% fossil free by 2040.