The Deep South has been one of the last areas in the nation to embrace solar. However, after Georgia regulators pushed utility giant Southern Company to build solar in the service area of Georgia Power, the floodgates opened, and Georgia became one of the largest markets for utility-scale solar in the nation.
Yesterday another Southern subsidiary, Alabama Power, announced that construction contractor Swinerton Renewable Energy has completed the 72 MW-AC Alabama Solar A project. Covering 1,400 acres in Chambers County, this is one of the largest not only in Alabama but the South.
The plant is owned by Houston’s Centaurus Renewable Energy and was built in partnership with Alabama Power. Most of the electricity generated will serve Walmart under a long-term contract, which will help the retailer to meet its renewable energy goals. Clenera is operating the project, which has already come online.
Swinerton began construction on Alabama Solar A last February, installing 338,000 JinkoSolar PV modules on a NEXTracker single-axis tracking system that involved 57,000 pilings.
Alabama Solar A is part of a wave of large solar projects in the Deep South, and comes days after Dominion announced that it had put online a 71 MW solar project in South Carolina, the largest in the state. It is also the third utility-scale solar project in Alabama Power’s service area to begin operation in 2017.