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The 150-megawatt Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center West, a new solar plant in Southern California capable of powering 55,000 homes, is fully operational. The project supplies power under a 25-year agreement with San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E).
Tenaska Imperial West is Omaha, Nebraska-based Tenaska’s second large-scale solar project to achieve commercial operation and highlights the company’s ongoing commitment to renewable energy.
“SDG&E has aggressively pursued clean, reliable and affordable energy for its consumers. We are proud that Tenaska projects will be significant contributors to its renewable energy supply for years to come,” said Jerry Crouse, Tenaska vice chairman and chief executive officer. “Similar to other Tenaska facilities, Tenaska Imperial West was developed, engineered and constructed safely, in an environmentally responsible manner, on time and within budget.”
Construction of Tenaska Imperial West began in November 2014 and was managed by contractor First Solar, Inc., which will also serve as the long-term plant operator. Located in southwest Imperial County, the project consists of 1.8 million First Solar photovoltaic panels.
In 2011, the 130-MW Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center South became the first large-scale solar project to begin construction in California’s Imperial Valley and the first to connect to SDG&E’s Sunrise Powerlink. Sunrise Powerlink was built to facilitate renewable energy development in the area. Tenaska Imperial South began commercial operation in 2013.
Together, the plants hired more than 1,300 construction workers, more than 70 percent of whom were from Imperial County communities, and paid approximately $32 million in state and local sales taxes. Together the facilities can supply enough energy for approximately 100,000 California homes.
“Powering homes and businesses with universal solar is good for our customers and our state,” said Emily Shults, SDG&E vice president of energy procurement. “Sunrise Powerlink is the foundation for giving all of our customers’ access to renewable energy. We look forward to all of the innovations on the horizon that will unlock clean, safe and affordable energy choices for our customers.”
In addition to large-scale solar, Tenaska’s involvement in renewable energy includes commercial and industrial distributed solar generation markets. Tenaska has a controlling interest in Jersey City, New Jersey-based Soltage, LLC, which develops, finances, installs, owns and operates rooftop and ground-mounted solar electric generating facilities for commercial entities.
Tenaska continues to explore opportunities for renewables development, including solar and wind, as well as other power generation technologies.