Tenaska reaches close on California solar project(2)

The independent US power producer has closed $450m in financing for Imperial Solar Energy Center West, the company’s second solar project in the state.

Independent power producer Tenaska has closed $450 million in commercial financing for Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Centre West, a 150 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic solar electric generating plant near El Centro, California.

Tenaska Imperial West will be the 17th power generation project the company has developed, financed and constructed, and its second utility-scale solar project in the state.

Construction is slated to begin later this year, Tenaska said in a statement, and the plant is expected to begin commercial operation in 2016.

The announcement comes several months after Tenaska’s first California solar plant, Tenaska Imperial South, began operating in November 2013. The 130MW plant is located near the site of the new plant and was built by First Solar, the same engineering, procurement, and construction contractor responsible for Tenaska Imperial West.

“We have a 27-year history of taking power projects from concept to reality and delivering them on time and within budget,” Tenaska’s vice president and treasurer David Kirkwood said. “Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Centre West’s oversubscription and successful financing demonstrate the strength of the project,” he added.

As in the case of Tenaska Imperial South, the company has secured a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with San Diego Gas & Electric for Tenaska Imperial West.

CSOLAR IV West, LLC, established to build, own and manage Tenaska Imperial Centre West, is the majority stakeholder, while Silver Ridge Power holds a minority stake. The company declined to specify the interest held by each party. 

At present, Tenaska has approximately 5,000MW of natural gas-fuelled and renewable projects in pre-financing development, including more than 250MW of solar power in California’s Imperial County, and the 800MW, natural gas-fuelled Tenaska Brownsville Generating Station in Texas, which is expected to begin commercial operation in 2017.

Founded in 1987, Tenaska has raised more than $13 billion in capital through bank facilities, capital market transactions, corporate facilities and equity, supporting approximately 9,000MW of US projects.

In addition to its headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska, Tenaska also has offices in Dallas; Denver, Colorado; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Calgary and Vancouver, Canada. An independent power producer, Tenaska is also involved in asset acquisition, fuel supply, natural gas exploration, production and transportation systems, and electric transmission development.