A controlling interest in the 626-acre North Star solar power project under construction near Mendota has been acquired by Southern Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company.
A minority interest in the 60-megawatt solar photovoltaic project will continue to be owned by an affiliate of First Solar Inc., which bought the project in 2013 from NorthLight Power, a joint venture of Summit Power Group and Renewable Energy Corp. First Solar is building the project and will operate and maintain it. Construction began last summer, and the project is expected to begin commercial operation in June. About 750,000 thin-film solar photovoltaic modules, mounted on panels that will track the sun as it crosses the sky throughout the day, comprise the project on California Avenue southwest of Mendota.
The electricity generated by the solar panels will be sold to Pacific Gas & Electric Co. under a 20-year power-purchase agreement. The companies say that the project will provide enough power to help meet the electricity needs of 21,000 average homes. The financial terms of the Mendota deal were not disclosed.
This is Southern Power’s fifth acquisition of a solar power project in California. Earlier this month, Southern Power concluded a similar deal with First Solar to acquire a controlling interest in two solar projects totaling 32 megawatts and 308 acres in Kern County.