Southern Company to Build Biomass Plant in East Texas



ATLANTA, Oct. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Southern Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company that acquires, builds, manages and owns wholesale generation assets, today announced that it is acquiring Nacogdoches Power, LLC from American Renewables, LLC and will move ahead with construction of the planned biomass power plant in Sacul, Texas. Groundbreaking is expected in the fall of 2009 and commercial operation is projected for the summer of 2012. When completed, the project will be one of the largest biomass-fueled electric generating facilities in the U.S., capable of generating approximately 100 megawatts.



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The plant's output is committed through a 20-year power purchase agreement with Austin Energy, the municipal utility owned by and serving Austin, Texas.



"This acquisition fits Southern Power's business strategy of growing the business in the wholesale market through acquiring generating assets and building new units - for which the output is significantly covered by long-term bi-lateral contracts," said Southern Power Company President and CEO Ronnie Bates. "We have a reputation of helping our customers meet their energy needs in a cost-effective, reliable and environmentally responsible manner, and we look forward to working with Austin Energy."



Acquiring the Nacogdoches project diversifies Southern Power's fuel mix, which aligns with Southern Company's overall goal of using a variety of fuels to ensure reliable and affordable electricity generation.



"Southern Power continually seeks appropriate opportunities that fit the business strategy and risk profile of the company," said David Ratcliffe, Southern Company chairman, president and CEO. "We are especially pleased that this project is consistent with our goal to pursue cost-effective renewable energy options that allow us to continue to provide reliable, affordable and cleaner electricity."



The plant, which will be built on 165 acres, will be fueled with biomass materials, including forest residue from the surrounding areas, wood processing residues and clean municipal wood waste. The project will require approximately 1 million tons of fuel annually, which is planned to be procured within a 75-mile radius of the project site.



American Renewables develops, builds and operates clean energy facilities that utilize biomass materials as fuel. American Renewables brings together the successful track records and project development, operations, energy investment and asset management expertise of its three partners: BayCorp Holdings, Energy Management, Inc. and Tyr Energy.



Southern Power is among the largest wholesale energy providers in the Southeast, meeting the electricity needs of municipalities, electric cooperatives and investor-owned utilities. The company owns and operates more than 7,500 megawatts with facilities in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina and has an additional 820 megawatts committed to construction in North Carolina and Texas.



With 4.4 million customers and more than 42,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier energy company serving the Southeast. A leading U.S. producer of electricity, Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are below the national average. Southern Company is consistently listed among the top U.S. electric service providers in customer satisfaction by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Visit our Web site at





Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:

Certain information contained in this Release is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, plans and estimated costs for new generation resources for the Company, estimated construction and other expenditures for the Company and completion of the Company's construction projects. The Company cautions that there are certain factors that can cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of the Company; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008, and subsequent securities filings, could cause results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: the impact of recent and future federal and state regulatory change, including legislative and regulatory initiatives regarding deregulation and restructuring of the electric utility industry, implementation of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, environmental laws including regulation of water quality and emissions of sulfur, nitrogen, mercury, carbon, soot, or particulate matter and other substances, and also changes in tax and other laws and regulations to which the Company and its subsidiaries are subject, as well as changes in application of existing laws and regulations; current and future litigation, regulatory investigations, proceedings, or inquiries, including Federal Energy Regulatory Commission matters; the effects, extent, and timing of the entry of additional competition in the markets in which the Company operates; variations in demand for electricity, including those relating to weather, the general economy, population and business growth (and declines), and the effects of energy conservation measures; available sources and costs of fuels; effects of inflation; ability to control costs and cost overruns during the development and construction of facilities; internal restructuring or other restructuring options that may be pursued; potential business strategies, including acquisitions or dispositions of assets or businesses, which cannot be assured to be completed or beneficial to the Company; the ability of counterparties of the Company to make payments as and when due and to perform as required; the ability to obtain new short- and long-term contracts with wholesale customers; the direct or indirect effect on the Company's business resulting from terrorist incidents and the threat of terrorist incidents; interest rate fluctuations and financial market conditions and the results of financing efforts, including the Company's credit ratings; the ability of the Company to obtain additional generating capacity at competitive prices; catastrophic events such as fires, earthquakes, explosions, floods, hurricanes, droughts, pandemic health events such as an avian or other influenza, or other similar occurrences; the direct or indirect effects on the Company's business resulting from incidents similar to the August 2003 power outage in the Northeast; and the effect of accounting pronouncements issued periodically by standard setting bodies. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information.



SOURCE Southern Power


SOURCE: Southern Power

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