Independent power producer, Tenaska, has reached financial close on its 150MW Imperial Solar Energy Center West project in California.

The company has secured US$450 million in commercial financing for the project, the second utility-scale PV power plant it is developing in the region.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, BNP Paribas, Royal Bank of Canada, Santander Bank, Helaba and DZ Bank led the consortium of investors in the project.

“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."

With finance secured, Tenaska said it planned to begin construction on the project later this year, with the beginning of commercial operation expected in November 2016.

US PV energy provider First Solar will supply its thin-film modules for the plant, as well as acting as the main engineering, procurement and construction contractor, as it was for Tenaska’s 130MW Imperial South project completed last year.

Electricity from Imperial West will be sold to utility San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) under a 25-year power purchase agreement.

An affiliate of Tenaska developed Tenaska Imperial West and before that Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center South, a 130MW, utility-scale solar plant also near El Centro in Southern California’s Imperial Valley. Tenaska Imperial South began commercial operation 1 November, 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 SDG&E under a 25-year power purchase agreement via SDG&E’s Sunrise Powerlink transmission line.