Philanthropist and media mogul Ted Turner is teaming up with Southern Company, an Atlanta-based utility provider, to pursue development of renewable energy projects across the country.

Southern Company will initially focus on both developing and investing in large-scale solar projects in the Southern United States, where solar energy is most efficient and in-demand. The utility company aims to play a role in commercializing solar power and making it more cost-competitive.

"This alliance unites our common goal to explore and develop new renewable energy projects," said Southern Company CEO David Ratcliffe in a press release.

"We have said for some time that renewable energy should play an increasing role in this country's energy mix and that Southern Company would seek opportunities to expand our renewable portfolio where it makes sense. This is evidence of that commitment."

The announcement comes just months after Southern Company revealed plans to boost its use of natural gas if prices remain low. The company also has plans to purchase a biomass power plant in Texas as part of its strategy to develop cost-effective renewable energy sources.

Turner, the largest individual landowner in North America, is a renowned conservationist. The Turner Renewable Energy founder and Captain Planet creator dedicates much of his time to environmental causes.

"I've always been passionate about developing renewable energy, and I'm excited to join forces with Southern Company to explore our renewable energy potential," said Turner.

"Southern Company's experience in power project development, construction and operations, and customer relations help make this a strong alliance, and I look forward to working together."

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