Southern Company sells off 1/3 stake in solar portfolio to Global Atlantic

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As solar and wind continues to become mainstream power sources, conservative investors are increasingly buying in, particularly in portfolios of existing projects which offer stable cash flows.

This morning Southern Power, the generation subsidiary of power giant Southern Company announced that Global Atlantic Financial Group has agreed to buy a 1/3 stake in its portfolio of 26 operating solar facilities, which total 1.7 GW of capacity.

Southern Power’s website lists 28 PV plants with a total of 1.78 GW of capacity, and the difference in number of projects and capacity between this site and Southern Company’s press release was not clear at press time. These plants span California, Georgia, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas, however the largest number of projects and capacities are in California and Georgia.

As a provider of retirement products and insurance, Global Atlantic Financial Group is a good representation of risk-averse capital. The deal also comes a day after Québec’s CDPQ announced that it would take a majority stake in Invenergy’s renewable energy business, including hundreds of megawatts of solar projects in development or under construction in the United States.

And while both investments are more low-risk than putting money into technology companies, Global Atlantic’s purchase is even more so. Southern’s solar projects are already operating, and hold long-term contracts to sell their power. Additionally, Global Atlantic is only buying a 1/3 stake, not majority ownership.

Recent portfolios of residential solar power got the industries first AA bond rating.

Southern Power notes that it will act as the general partner in the cooperation and maintain overall operational responsibilities for the projects.

We look forward to working alongside Global Atlantic as we continue our work to provide clean, safe, reliable and affordable wholesale energy to our customers across the United States,” notes Southern Power President and CEO Mark Lantrip.