The installation of the millionth solar module has occurred at the Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center South project near El Centro, California.
When completed, the 130MW Tenaska Imperial South project will produce enough electricity to meet the needs of approximately 44,000 California homes and will eventually host nearly 2 million solar panels.
Commercial operation is expected to commence in the second half of this year, although the project will start being energized in phases soon.
Aside from the clean energy produced, which will be sold under a 25-year power purchase agreement with SDG&E, the project is providing other benefits for the community.
Of the 500 construction workers hired to perform work at the project site so far, 70 percent have been from communities in Imperial County. Additionally, more than $20 million in construction contracts have been awarded to local companies.
Tenaska Imperial South has also paid more than $1 million in county sales tax to date. In total, the county is expected to receive more than $3 million from the project.
The project developers are also working with Imperial Valley College, San Diego State’s Imperial Valley campus and Imperial County Office of Education to provide education and renewable energy career information.
“Tenaska is helping the Imperial Valley build a new economy,” said Imperial County and Imperial Irrigation District Interim Energy Manager Carl Stills. “In addition to the many jobs, the opportunities for local contractors and vendors, and the new tax revenue for the county, the economic activity from Tenaska Imperial South is further stimulating the overall economic vitality of the Valley.”
Tenaska Solar Ventures has also completed permitting for the Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center West near El Centro, a 150-MW solar facility expected to create 300 jobs at peak construction.
Tenaska Solar Ventures is the solar energy development affiliate of Tenaska; which has developed approximately 9,000 MW of natural gas-fueled and renewable power generation.