Southern Power buys 720-MW natural gas-fire facility in Midwest US

Southern Power, a subsidiary of energy company Southern Company, has acquired the Mankato Energy Center, which is located in Mankato, Minnesota in the US, in a move that strengthens the company’s business in the Midwest US.

The facility, previously owned by Calpine Corporation, includes two natural gas units – the existing 375-megawatt (MW) Mankato Energy Center I and the 345-MW Mankato Energy Center II expansion, which is still under development.

Southern Power president and CEO, Buzz Miller, said that the Mankato Energy Center fits excellently in the company’s business model and offers a strong addition to its general portfolio. “We look forward to serving this region and expanding our partnerships in the Midwest,” Miller added.

Mankato Energy Center I is a natural gas-fired, combined-cycle facility contracted with Xcel Energy-Minnesota through 2026.

The Mankato Energy Center II expansion is expected to be operational by June 2019 to serve an additional 20-year power purchase agreement with Xcel Energy-Minnesota. When complete, the Mankato Energy Center will represent 720 MW of generating capacity.

The Mankato Energy Center fits Southern Power’s business strategy of growing its wholesale business through the acquisition and construction of generating assets substantially covered by long-term contracts. The facility represents Southern Power’s first generating asset within the Midcontinent ISO (MISO).

With the recent purchase of the Mankato Energy Center, Southern Power now owns 10 combined-cycle and combustion turbine, natural gas-fired power plants across five states in the US, representing 9,300 MW of generating capacity operating or under construction.