Located in Imperial County, the plant represents the companys move into the solar field: it expects to develop further projects in other U.S. states, like California.
The 130 megawatt (MW) project has been built across 946 acres of land. Construction began last December and is scheduled for completion at the start of 2014. In addition to providing the necessary thin film photovoltaic technology, First Solar is acting as EPC contractor.
In a statement released, Tenaska explained, "About 130 megawatts of electricity has been sold to San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) under a 25-year agreement, enough electricity to meet the needs of at least 44,000 California homes at peak demand."
A total of nine banks provided debt financing, the amount of which was not disclosed. The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. and Union Bank, N.A. (collectively, MUFG) led the bank group, which includes BBVA Compass, DZ Bank, Helaba, Key Bank, Lloyds TSB Bank, Royal Bank of Canada and Santander’s Sovereign Bank.
Tenaska is additionally working on a second plant. At this time, it is believed that Soitecs Concentrix concentrated photovoltaic technology will be used for the up to 150 MW Imperial Solar Energy Center West project.
Approval was received for the project at the end of 2011. It is expected that work will begin later this year and will be completed by 2015.