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Industry News

Southern Company Announces Renewable Power Alliance with Ted Turner

LCG, January 27, 2010--Southern Company announced yesterday that it formed a strategic alliance with environmentalist Ted Turner, the largest individual landowner in North America, to pursue renewable energy projects in the United States.

Southern Company CEO David Ratcliffe stated, "This alliance unites our common goal to explore and develop new renewable energy projects....We have said for some time that renewable energy should play an increasing role in this country's energy mix and that Southern Company would seek opportunities to expand our renewable portfolio where it makes sense. This is evidence of that commitment."

"I've always been passionate about developing renewable energy, and I'm excited to join forces with Southern Company to explore our renewable energy potential," said Ted Turner, owner of Turner Renewable Energy. "Southern Company's experience in power project development, construction and operations, and customer relations help make this a strong alliance, and I look forward to working together."

According to the press release, Southern Company and Turner will focus on developing and investing in large scale solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in the Southwest. Other renewable technologies may also be pursued.

Southern Company's subsidiary, Southern Power, develops and owns generation assets for the wholesale market in the Southeast. Last November, Southern Power announced that it had stepped out of its Southeastern footprint and fossil-fired facilities to acquire a renewable project in Texas, the Nacogdoches Generating Facility, which will be fueled by biomass and start operations in 2012.

Turner is the largest individual landowner in North America and owns over two million acres. His Western properties consist of 15 ranches in seven states: New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Oklahoma. With the exception of Nebraska and Oklahoma, the five remaining states have passed renewable portfolio standards.

In New Mexico, where Turner owns three ranches totaling over one million acres and solar resources are plentiful, the Public Regulation Commission requires that investor owned utilities (IOUs) meet a 20% renewables target for retail sales by 2020. Last week, First Solar, which acquired Turner-owned solar firm in late 2007, announced that it has executed an agreement with PNM to build 22 MW of solar PV electric generating capacity at five (as yet to be named) sites within PNM's service territory in New Mexico.
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