Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center West to Begin Construction in 2014
OMAHA, Nebraska – Leading U.S. independent energy provider Tenaska closed $450 million in commercial financing today for Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center West, a 150-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic solar electric generating plant near El Centro, California, and Tenaska’s second utility-scale project in the region.
Tenaska Imperial West will be the 17th power generation project Tenaska has developed, financed and constructed, and its second solar facility. The company has approximately 5,000 MW of natural gas-fueled and renewable projects in pre-financing development, including more than 250 MW of solar power in Imperial County, California, and the 800-MW, natural gas-fueled Tenaska Brownsville Generating Station in Texas expected to begin commercial operation in 2017. In business since 1987, Tenaska has raised more than $13 billion in capital through bank facilities, capital market transactions, corporate facilities and equity, supporting approximately 9,000 MW of U.S. projects.
“We have a 27-year history of taking power projects from concept to reality and delivering them on time and within budget,” said David Kirkwood, Tenaska vice president and treasurer. “Now we’re leveraging our experience developing natural gas-fueled power plants for solar electric generation. Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center West’s oversubscription and successful financing demonstrate the strength of the project.”
An affiliate of Tenaska developed Tenaska Imperial West and before that Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center South, a 130-MW, utility-scale solar plant also near El Centro in Southern California’s Imperial Valley. Tenaska Imperial South began commercial operation Nov. 1, 2013.
Tenaska plans to begin construction on Tenaska Imperial West later in 2014, with commercial operation expected in 2016. Like Tenaska Imperial South, Tenaska Imperial West will provide clean, renewable energy to San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) under a 25-year power purchase agreement via SDG&E’s Sunrise Powerlink transmission line.
First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) is the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for Tenaska Imperial West. The facility will use First Solar’s advanced thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules with single-axis tracking to follow the sun for greater power generation. First Solar was the EPC contractor for Tenaska Imperial South and now operates the facility under a contract with Tenaska.
An affiliate of Tenaska is the majority owner of Tenaska Imperial West. An affiliate of Silver Ridge Power, LLC owns a minority interest in the project.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, BNP Paribas, Royal Bank of Canada, Santander Bank, Helaba and DZ Bank led the bank group. Riverside Risk Advisors assisted Tenaska in designing and executing its interest rate risk management program.
“Achieving financial closing for our second utility-scale solar project represents a significant milestone for Tenaska. The project is moving forward on schedule,” said Greg Kelly, Tenaska president, development, “and we’re looking forward to starting construction.”
Tenaska, based in Omaha, Nebraska, is one of the leading independent power producers in the U.S., with regional offices in Dallas, Denver, Houston, Pittsburgh and Calgary and Vancouver, Canada. Forbes magazine consistently ranks Tenaska among the largest privately held U.S. companies. Tenaska and its affiliates have developed and constructed approximately 9,000 megawatts (MW) of natural gas-fueled and renewable power generation, and manage operations for approximately 11,000 MW of power generation consisting of 15 power plants. Tenaska formed CSOLAR IV West, LLC to build, own and operate the Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center West. Affiliates of Tenaska serve as the managing partner. Tenaska Solar Ventures, LLC, Tenaska’s solar energy development affiliate, developed both Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center West and Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center South. Tenaska affiliates also market natural gas, electric power, biofuels and related commodities, and natural gas fuels, and provide energy risk management services. Tenaska is involved in asset acquisition, fuel supply, natural gas exploration, production and transportation systems, and electric transmission development. For more information about Tenaska, visit www.tenaska.com or www.tenaskasolarventures.com.