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Alabama Power receives approval for solar facility in Butler County

The Alabama Public Service Commission today approved Alabama Power’s proposal for an 80-megawatt HEP Greenville solar project to be located in Butler County. The commission also approved a contract between Alabama Power and Wells Fargo to allow the bank to subscribe to a portion of the Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) from the newly approved facility.

This solar project is the largest facility to date under the Renewable Generation Certificate approved by the commission in 2015. Annual output generated from the HEP Greenville solar project is equivalent to the amount of energy used in nearly 15,000 homes.

Under the 10-year contract, Wells Fargo will receive about 47% of the RECs from the solar facility, equivalent to 80,000 MWh annually and representing about 80% of its electric needs in the state. Alabama Power will market the remaining RECs from the project to other customers.

Alabama Power’s solar project in Butler County will be the company’s largest to date. (Alabama NewsCenter file)

The project is expected to create about 250 construction jobs while generating more than $6 million in tax revenue for Butler County and the city of Greenville over the life of the project. Commercial operation is expected to begin by January 2024.

“We appreciate the commission’s vote today and are excited about our partnership with Wells Fargo to build on our focus of delivering long-term value to our customers while growing solar resources,” said Tony Smoke, Alabama Power’s senior vice president of Marketing and Economic Development.

Since 2017, Wells Fargo has met 100% of its global electricity requirements with renewable energy through the purchase of RECs. Today’s announcement transitions the firm’s efforts to long-term agreements that support the development of net-new sources of renewable energy. To date, Wells Fargo has entered into more than 120 long-term contracts, supporting the development of more than 825 megawatts of net-new renewable energy. In addition to helping Wells Fargo meet its environmental goals, the strategy helps deliver community benefits like job creation, tax revenue and economic development where its customers and employees live and work.

“Leveraging our annual energy spend to advance green infrastructure development in the U.S. and create new revenue streams for communities is one way we are helping contribute to more sustainable, equitable and resilient communities,” said Richard Henderson, head of Wells Fargo’s Corporate Properties Group. “We appreciate the collaboration with Alabama Power to advance our enterprise sustainability goals in a way that benefits the local economy.”

This project is the fourth approved under the Renewable Generation Certificate, in addition to the Anniston Army Depot, Fort Rucker and LaFayette solar projects. To date, the commission has approved about 170 megawatts of solar generation under this certificate.