Tenaska refinances 130MW California solar plant

The Omaha-based power producer has refinanced its Imperial Solar Energy Center South project by issuing $319m of senior-secured long-term notes.

Tenaska, an independent US power producer, has closed financing on its 130 megawatt (MW) solar project in California, through an issuance of $319.4 million of senior-secured, long-term notes, the company said in a statement.

The private placement received an investment-grade rating of BBB- by rating agency Standard & Poor’s and risk consulting firm Kroll.

Tenaska Imperial South, developed by one of the company’s affiliates, Tenaska Solar Ventures (TSV), began operations in November and has a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E). It has the capacity to power 44,000 homes.

The owner of the project is CSOLAR IV South, an affiliate established by Tenaska to build, own and operate Tenaska Imperial South. Prudential Capital Group is also acquiring a minority interest in the project, subject to regulatory approvals, but Tenaska did not disclose the percentage the Prudential Financial subsidiary would be acquiring.

“An attractive market for project debt led us to refinance our existing mini-perm loan,” Tenaska vice president and treasurer Dave Kirkwood 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,” he said.

Tenaska Imperial West, also to be developed by TSV, will be located near Tenaska Imperial South and will produce up to 150MW. Construction is slated to begin in the first half of 2014 with commercial operation scheduled for 2015. That facility will also have a 25-year PPA with SDG&E.

Headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, Tenaska also has offices in Dallas; Denver, Colorado; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Calgary and Vancouver, Canada. An independent power producer, Tenaska is also involved in asset acquisition, fuel supply, natural gas exploration, production and transportation systems, and electric transmission development.