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Southern Co. in Solar Project Deal

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Southern Company (SO - Free Report) has co-partnered with privately held Turner Renewable Energy to take over the Apex Solar Project from SunEdison – a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials . However, the financial aspects of the deal were not disclosed.

Located in Nevada, the 20-megawatt solar photovoltaic power plant spreads across a 154-acre site in the City of North Las Vegas, Clark County. Southern Company aims to commence commercial operations at the plant during the third quarter of 2012. The plant already started building the solar array in October 2011.

The Apex Solar Project – which was constructed by the leading international supplier of solar energy services, SunEdison – comprises nearly 88,000 poly-crystalline solar modules provided by Trina Solar. SunEdison will continue to oversee the facility’s ongoing operations and maintenance.

The electricity generated by the facility will be bought by the Nevada Power Company, a wholly owned unit of NV Energy Inc , under the terms of the 25-year power purchase agreement.

Ted Turner, who owns Turner Renewable Energy, formed a strategic collaboration with Southern Company in January 2010. The two companies were interested in pursuing projects for the development of renewable sources of energy in the United States.

In this regard, in March 2010, the companies acquired a 30-megawatt Cimarron Solar Facility on an acreage adjoining Turner’s Vermejo Park Ranch near Raton, New Mexico.

Southern Company stated that the partnership with Turner will allow it to explore significant solar power projects making them commercially viable by the use of high technological level.   

We acknowledge the company’s efforts in achieving growth from this form of natural energy, considering that solar projects are eco friendly, given their significantly lower emissions of greenhouse gases.

Southern Company is one of the largest electric utility holding companies in the U.S., and is the premier energy company serving the Southeast. It remains a leader in power plant productivity, cost control (operating and construction) and new technology research.

However, the challenging economic environment and increased spending levels to ensure regulatory compliance may hamper the company’s results in the next few quarters. As such, we do not anticipate a significant upside in the near future and expect the stock to perform in line with the broader market.

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