Sawnee Electric Membership Corporation recently announced the purchase of a solar agreement to bring renewable energy to its consumers.
The company’s board of directors approved a 25-year power purchase agreement with Southern Power, A Southern Company subsidiary. The agreement will provide Sawnee EMC with 15 MW of solar capacity and the associated energy from a new photovoltaic, or PV, project.
“This transaction is projected to provide our member-consumers with several long-term benefits, one of which is an affordable and reliable renewable energy source over the life of this agreement,” said Michael Goodroe, Sawnee EMC president and CEO.
The solar facility, of which Sawnee will take 11.4 percent of its output, will be located on a 911-acre site in Taylor County, which sits between Columbus and Macon. It will consist of about 1.6 million thin-film PV solar modules, which are mounted on single-axis tracking tables manufactured by First Solar.
Construction of the project is scheduled to begin in September 2015, according to a media release, and is expected to achieve commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2016.
“This is the second such solar transaction that our board has approved in the past few months,” said Blake House, vice president of member services for Sawnee EMC. “The staff has been very focused on identifying and seeking Board approval for sustainable, central station generation solutions that are in the best long-term interest of our members.”
Earlier in 2014, Sawnee entered into a power purchase agreement with Green Power EMC for 10 MW of capacity and the associated energy from a PV facility located in Hazlehurst, Georgia.
These two projects expand Sawnee’s existing generation capacity from what is considered to be renewable resources.