Imperial Valley Tenaska solar project reaches financial close

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Independent power producer Tenaska’s Imperial Solar Energy Center South project has reached financial close.

Tenaska has secured US$319.4 million from a number of investors including financial service provider Prudential, which bought a stake in the project in October.  

The 130MW solar investment received a BBB credit rating from Kroll.

UK commercial bank, Barclays acted as a leading agent for financing the project with one of the largest financial institutions in the world, Mitsubishi UFJ Securities. Investment bank RBC Capital Markets and marketing and trading company, LLC served as cooperative agents. Mitsubishi and the Royal Bank of Canada are providing letters of credit and working capital facilities.

Risk management, Riverside Risk Advisors helped Tenaska design and execute an interest rate risk program.

Jerry Crouse, CEO, Tenaska said: “We saw a significant and positive response to the issuance and appreciate our investors' participation.”

The project began commercial operation earlier this month and has a 25-year power purchase agreement with utility San Diego Gas and Electric. The project is the first large scale solar plant to be constructed in California’s Imperial Valley.

The Imperial South project was developed by Tenaska’s subsidiary, Tenaska Solar Ventures and will be managed by Tenaska.

The project has more than 2,000 solar panels installed, generating enough electricity to power approximately 44,000 homes.  

Financing for the project was favourable thanks to encouraging solar policies in California such as the 33% renewable energy requirement for utilities.

Dave Kirkwood, Tenaska vice president and treasurer said: “We hope to build upon the success of this transaction as we look to arrange financing for our next project, Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center West.”

The 150MW Imperial West project is to begin construction in 2014, commercial operation scheduled for 2015.

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