Spain's T-Solar signs $67.6 million loan deal for 20 MW California solar park

Spain’s T-Solar Global and the North American Development Bank (NADB) have signed a $67.6 million loan agreement with developer Sol Orchard Imperial 1 for the construction of a 20 MW photovoltaic solar park in the city of El Centro in Imperial County, California.

Imperial Irrigation District (IID), which provides water and power to all of Imperial County and portions of Riverside and San Diego counties, will purchase electricity generated by the project.

The solar park will be constructed on approximately 131 acres (53 hectares) of land owned by IID and is part of the public utility’s plan to comply with California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which requires publicly owned utilities to adopt the RPS goal of 20% of retail sales from renewable sources by the end of 2013, 25% by the end of 2016 and 33% by the end of 2020.

Chinese manufacturer Yingli will provide the solar panels for the project and STi Norland the single-axis trackers; GPTech will supply the inverters and Isolux USA – the American division of T-Solar parent group Isolux Corsán — will render engineering, procurement, and contracting (EPC) services. The solar park is expected to generate enough electricity to power approximately 14,000 households.

NDAB said the environmental benefits related to the project include an estimated displacement of approximately 13,678 metric tons of carbon dioxide and 21 metric tons of nitrogen oxide annually.

The project was certified earlier this year by the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC), a binational organization created by the United States and Mexican governments as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) headquartered in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, and the sister institution of the San Antonio, Texas-based NDAB. The two organizations are charged with helping to improve the environmental conditions of the U.S.-Mexican border region.

NADB is providing $311 million in loan financing for eight utility-scale solar projects in California, Arizona and Texas that will have a combined generation capacity of 96 MW when completed.