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Southern Company Acquires Nation's Largest DC Tracking Solar Installation

ATLANTA, Sept. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern Company today announced its acquisition of the largest direct current solar tracking array of its kind.  The Spectrum Solar Facility – a 30-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic installation in Clark County, Nev. – will have greater DC capacity than any tracking-based installation in the United States.  Tracking technology enables greater operating efficiency by optimally directing solar panels as the sun moves across the sky.

The plant is located on a 311-acre site and will be built, operated and maintained by SunEdison, a leading global provider of solar energy services and a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR).

"Southern Company is committed to energy innovation and leads our industry in proprietary research and development," said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. "This project pushes the boundaries of solar energy by harnessing the power of large-scale tracking technology."

The Spectrum Solar Facility is the third facility jointly acquired by Southern Company and Turner Renewable Energy.  This partnership demonstrates a commitment to energy innovation and the commercial viability of renewable energy resources in America.

Ted Turner, an internationally renowned philanthropist and environmentalist, teamed with Southern Company in January 2010 to strategically develop renewable energy projects in the United States. Southern Company and Turner are concentrating their investments in large-scale solar photovoltaic projects where solar resources are most available.  

The partnership's first project was the acquisition and development of the 30-MW Cimarron Solar Facility near Raton, N.M. It was, at the time of purchase, the largest solar PV plant in the nation. In June 2012, the companies made their second purchase, the 20-MW Apex Solar Facility located in North Las Vegas, Nev. The Spectrum Solar Facility is the first of these joint projects to incorporate tracking technology.

"It's gratifying to see that our partnership with Southern Company is achieving its goal of expanding large-scale solar power generation and demonstrating the technology's feasibility as a commercial-scale electricity source," said Turner. "Southern Company is taking a leadership position in finding innovative solutions to diversifying the nation's energy portfolio with a greater mix of renewables, and we're pleased to be a partner in that effort."

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