Isolux to build its second US solar plant

The $50m project award comes a day after the Madrid-based developer said it will focus on businesses and geographies in which it has a proven competitive advantage.

Isolux Corsan has been awarded the Kayenta Solar Project, a plant valued at more than $50 million, marking the second solar facility the Madrid-based developer is set to build in the US.

The plant, which was awarded by the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, the largest multi-utility owned and operated by a Native American tribe, will be located in Kayenta, Arizona. Spanning 210 acres belonging to the Navajo Nation, it will have an output capacity of 27.3MW and serve about 13,000 homes.

The Kayenta solar plant will generate up to 1,900GWh of energy during its 25-year lifespan, Isolux said in a statement. 

“In the last five years, Isolux Corsan has managed to establish and hold its presence in the always difficult and demanding American market,” the company added, referring to the 600km of transmission lines and six sub-stations the company has built in Texas since 2011.

The announcement regarding this latest project comes a day after Isolux Corsan’s newly appointed chairman Nemesio Fernandez-Cuesta and its new nine-member board took over the helm of the financially distressed company.

Over the past few months, Isolux Corsan has been in the process of restructuring its debt, a process which gained approval from its creditors last week. In a statement issued on Friday, the company said that Fernandez-Cuesta would return the company to profitability by focusing on areas and geographies in which Isolux has demonstrated an obvious advantage.

It was unclear whether solar power and the US are among those sectors and geographies. The company had not responded to a request for comment at press time.

The company's strategic and financial restructurings are part of Isolux' efforts to stay afloat. The developer found itself in difficulty after the failure of its €850 million bond issue last year, with long-standing allegations of money laundering, tax evasion and forgery against the business partly to blame for the lack of investor interest.

The Arizona plant award comes after Isolux sold chunks of its concessions business to Canadian pension fund manager PSP Investments, which already owned 19.23 percent of Isolux Infrastructure.

Isolux Corsan retained all the solar PV projects of T-Solar, another business it is in the process of selling, and the power transmission and distribution assets of Isolux Infrastructure. In addition to T-Solar, Isolux is also looking to divest 10 transmission lines in Brazil.