30 MW Cimarron solar facility begins commercial operations

Cited as one of the largest PV facilities in the country, the Cimarron solar facility is the result of a partnership between Southern Company and Ted Turner. It will supply power – under a 25-year power purchase agreement – to the member electric cooperatives of Denver-based Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. Approximately 9,000 homes will benefit.

Southern Company and Turner Renewable Energy acquired the project from First Solar in March 2010. Spread across 364 acres, it took eight months to complete: commercial operations began in December. Located within the service territory of Tri-State member system Springer Electric Cooperative in Colfax County, more than 300 workers were reportedly employed during the facility’s construction, which uses around 500,000 2’x 4’ thin film First Solar PV modules.

"This is a key milestone for Southern Company as we steadily incorporate more renewables into our energy portfolio," commented Southern Company chairman, president and CEO Tom Fanning. "Renewables, along with new nuclear, increased energy efficiency, 21st century coal technology and additional natural gas, all will be crucial to meeting this nation’s growing energy demand."