Southern Power buys majority stake in Tranquillity solar project

Southern Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Co., has bought a majority stake in a 1,900-acre solar project southwest of Tranquillity from Canadian Solar Inc.

The two companies announced the partnership on Monday. Southern Power now owns 51 percent of the project, while Canadian Solar holds the remaining 49 percent.

Construction began on the Tranquillity Solar Power Project in July, and the project is expected to be in commercial operation by the end of 2016, according to developer Recurrent Energy. Canadian Solar acquired Recurrent Energy earlier this year. The sprawling project will use more than 800,000 photovoltaic solar modules, which will be mounted on racks that will track the sun as it crosses the sky. Photovoltaic panels generate electricity when sunlight hits them. The developers expect the project to produce enough electricity to meet the power needs of about 55,000 homes. Southern California Edison has agreed to buy electricity from the site for 15 years.

The project represents Southern Power’s second investment in solar in Fresno County. Earlier this year, the company also bought a majority stake in the 61-megawatt, 626-acre North Star Solar Facility near Mendota. That project began commercial operations in June with the power being sold to Pacific Gas & Electric Co. under a 20-year deal.