Southern Power has begun commercial operations at its 102MW Lamesa Solar Facility in Dawson County, Texas.

The solar facility, which features around 410,000 photovoltaic solar panels, is capable of meeting the electricity needs of around 15,000 Texas homes.

Under a 15-year power purchase agreement, the solar facility will sell its power and associated renewable energy credits to The City of Garland, which it may keep or sell.

Southern Power said the facility fits its strategic business model of expanding its wholesale business by acquiring and constructing power generating assets that are mostly covered by long-term contracts with creditworthy counterparties.

The solar plant was purchased by the Southern Company subsidiary from Renewable Energy Systems Americas (RES) in July 2016. Currently, RES is serving as the operations and maintenance contractor of the Lamesa solar plant.

Southern Power president and CEO Buzz Miller said: "The Lamesa Solar Facility is an important addition to our growing renewable fleet, and we look forward to operating it for the benefit of our customer.

"By providing clean, affordable, wholesale generation, we are able to deliver on our promise to help build the future of energy."

The addition of Lamesa Solar Facility takes Southern Power’s renewable energy capacity to over 1.2GW comprising eight wind, solar and biomass plants in Texas.

Last month, the electric utility announced that its 120MW East Pecos Solar Facility in Pecos County had begun commercial operations. The solar energy generated by the East Pecos solar plant along with the related renewable energy credits will be purchased by Austin Energy under a 15-year power purchase agreement.

Image: Lamesa Solar Facility in Dawson County, Texas. Photo: Southern Company.