Cobb EMC expands renewable generation portfolio

Cobb EMC expands renewable generation portfolio

Purchase agreement with Southern Power increases cooperative’s solar participation


Marietta, GA – Cobb EMC has expanded its utility scale solar portfolio through generation from the Sandhills Solar Facility, the largest solar facility operating east of the Mississippi River. The 146-megawatt photovoltaic solar project, which is owned by Southern Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, marked the launch of commercial operation with a ribbon cutting ceremony in November 2016.

Sandhills Solar Facility, which consists of approximately 1.6 million solar modules, began construction in September 2015 on a 911-acre site in Taylor County, Georgia, our state’s largest producer of solar power.

"Thanks to a 25-year power purchase agreement, Cobb EMC will add 111 MWs of generation from the Sandhills facility to its wholesale power supply portfolio, which also includes hydro, biomass and reclaimed methane gas from landfills.

"We’re always looking for ways to diversify our generation mix and expand our renewable portfolio while keeping costs as low as possible for our members,” says Chip Nelson, Cobb EMC President and CEO.

With the addition of this project, Cobb EMC will have invested into three solar facilities by the end of this year. This will bring 124 MWs of renewables to our generation mix. The cooperative views adding solar generation to its wholesale power supply portfolio as the most economical way for its members to benefit from renewable generation sources.

Cobb EMC will continue to explore other renewable projects that are cost effective and beneficial to the cooperative and our members.


Electricity and associated renewable energy credits generated by the facility serve 25-year purchase power agreements with Cobb Electric Membership Corporation (EMC), Flint EMC, Sawnee EMC, Middle Georgia EMC and Irwin EMC. Cobb EMC has contracted for 111 MW, Flint EMC and Sawnee EMC have each contracted for 15 MW, and Middle Georgia EMC and Irwin EMC have each contracted for 1 MW.

Cobb EMC has the flexibility to use the power purchased[/produced] from these resources to serve its members with renewable energy or to sell the renewable energy or unbundled renewable energy credits (RECs) to third parties for the benefit of its members.

Construction of the plant began in September 2015, and the project achieved commercial operation in fourth quarter 2016. Southern Power is serving as the operation and maintenance contractor alongside First Solar, which served as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the facility.

The facility consists of approximately 1.6 million of First Solar’s thin-film photovoltaic solar modules mounted on single-axis tracking tables.


Cobb Electric Membership Corporation, a not-for-profit electric cooperative, safely delivers reliable electricity to more than 187,000 residential and commercial members in Cobb, Bartow, Cherokee, Fulton, and Paulding counties. Cobb EMC’s distribution system consists of 9,049 miles of line over 432 square miles. With more than 202,000 meters served, Cobb EMC is one of the largest of Georgia's 41 EMCs and among the largest of the nation's 900 EMCs. For more information, visit, or follow Cobb EMC on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.


Southern Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, is a leading U.S. wholesale energy provider meeting the electricity needs of municipalities, electric cooperatives, investor-owned utilities and other energy customers. Southern Power and its subsidiaries own or have the rights to 42 facilities operating or under construction in 11 states with more than 11,900 MW of generating capacity in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas.

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