From promoting a level playing field for renewables to creating Captain Planet, CNN founder and philanthropist Ted Turner has long been a supporter of environmental causes. His partnership with Southern Company to promote renewable energy is no exception. Having already financed six large-scale clean energy projects, the Southern Power-Turner Renewable Energy partnership has just announced it will acquire the massive, 50-megawatt Macho Springs Solar Facility in New Mexico

The plant, which has just been completed, is the second-largest renewable energy acquisition undertaken by the partnership and, when operational, it should provide enough power for 18,000 homes. It was built by First Solar, which will continue to operate and maintain the facility. First Solar is the same company responsible for building the 30-megawatt (MW) Cimarron I Solar Project that sits next to Turner's Vermejo Park Ranch in northern New Mexico. All electricity will be sold to El Paso Electric, which has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement. 

“The acquisition of the Macho Springs facility is another positive step in advancing the development of solar technologies,” Turner said in a statement.

Meanwhile Thomas Fanning — Southern Company's chairman, president and CEO — underlined that the deal “demonstrates our commitment to the full portfolio of energy resources.”

The purchase of the Macho Springs plant will bring the partnership close to achieving a milestone of 300MW of installed solar power. 

Related on MNN:

Ted Turner and Southern Co. aquire 50MW solar plant
With the purchase of New Mexico's largest solar facility, the long-term partnership is nearing 300MW of installed solar power.