Spanish independent power producer Grupo T-Solar (T-Solar) has inaugurated its first plant in the US, a 25MWp project in the city of El Centro, Imperial Valley, California.
According to T-Solar, the company selected California as a target market due to high levels of solar irradiance combined with high consumption of energy and the availability of government support and land. The project in El Centro, which will generate an output of 55GWh annually, was announced by T-Solar in late October, along with a 30MW plant in Puerto Rico that will generate 48GWh per year.
The 57 hectare El Centro project will generate enough electricity to meet the demands of around 12,000 people with power sold under a 30-year power purchase agreement (PPA) to utility Imperial Irrigation District (IID).
The North American Development Bank (NADB), the finance institution formed in collaboration between the US and Mexico to improve the quality of life for residents of the area between the borders of the two countries, provided a US$65 million loan toward the total US$75 million of investment required to complete the project. The area where the plant is located has been selected as a priority region for the US and Mexican governments to preserve and improve environmental conditions and quality of life for residents. NADB has to date provided almost US$360 million in loan financing across 11 utility-scale PV projects totalling around 110MWAC of capacity in the states of California, Arizona and Texas.
In addition to NADB’s role as senior lender, tax equity investment came from Santander Bank, a financial advisory role was played by Astris Finance. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)-registered renewable energy broker-dealer CCA Group advised on the tax equity component of investment.
In addition to confirming that the US was an important target market for T-Solar, the company’s chief executive officer Marta Martinez said: “We are very grateful and proud to cooperate with the City of El Centro in a joint effort to preserve and enhance environmental conditions and quality of life for people living in Imperial Valley.”
Grupo T-Solar has recently also been awarded Multiple Award Task Order Contracts (MATOC) by the US Department of Defense. The MATOC programme has a US$7 billion budget, to be used to install 3GW of renewable energy in US Army facilities by 2025.