Tenaska Imperial South Makes Second $500,000 Payment to Imperial County Local Transportation Authority
- Created on Thursday, 26 September 2013 20:59
- Written by IVN
El Centro, California - As construction of Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center South winds down, a second sales tax presentation of $500,000 was made to the Imperial County Local Transportation Authority (LTA). LTA funds transportation improvements in the county.
Representatives of the solar project, owned by an affiliate of Omaha, Neb.-based Tenaska and located near El Centro, Calif., presented a symbolic check to LTA commissioners at their regular board meeting Wednesday. It was the second $500,000 presentation to the authority this year; the first was in April.
The total $1 million that LTA will receive in sales tax proceeds is in addition to $2 million to Imperial County, all generated by the purchase of solar panels and other construction goods and services for Tenaska Imperial South. Tenaska was the first Imperial County solar developer to commit in its conditional use permit to declaring Imperial County the point of sale for approximately 2 million solar panels used in the construction of Tenaska Imperial South and for other construction-related goods and services. Because Imperial County is designated as the place of purchase, the county and LTA have been able to collect local sales tax on the transactions, resulting in payment in excess of $3 million in local net sales tax revenue.
“Imperial Valley has welcomed Tenaska Solar Ventures in the community, and we are pleased that a significant portion of the sales tax paid by Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center South stays in the community and plays a positive role in creating jobs, improving roads and funding transportation and infrastructure projects,” said Robert Ferrara, Tenaska development director.
LTA is a coalition of representatives of Imperial County and its cities. Since 1989, when Imperial County voters approved the formation and funding of the LTA, the agency has contributed $160 million to transportation projects in the Imperial Valley, including pedestrian and bicycle safety projects, roadway pavement rehabilitations, intersection and traffic signal improvements, safe routes to schools and contributions to regional highway and bus/transit projects.
“Thank you, Tenaska, for going the extra mile so that sales tax generated from construction of your solar project would remain in Imperial County and directly benefit the area where the development is occurring,” said LTA Executive Director Mark Baza. “Roads are vital to an area’s economic health and an important part of our quality of life.”
Tenaska Imperial South was the first large-scale solar project to begin construction in Imperial County and the first in the county to transmit electricity via San Diego Gas & Electric’s new Sunrise Powerlink transmission line. Tenaska Imperial South will produce up to 130 megawatts of electricity under a 25-year power purchase agreement with SDG&E. When operating at peak times, its ground-mounted photovoltaic solar power generating system will produce enough electricity to meet the needs of approximately 44,000 California homes.
Tenaska Imperial South received the 2013 Project of the Year Award from Imperial Valley Economic Development Corp. (IVEDC) for its contributions to the region, including establishing a program with IVEDC to identify and hire qualified local vendors for solar projects in the Imperial Valley. Tenaska Imperial South awarded contracts to a number of local companies, including Duggins Construction Inc. and Granite Construction.
Tenaska and its contractor, First Solar Inc., also maximized hiring of qualified local workers for the construction of Tenaska Imperial South. Of the more than 500 construction workers hired to work at the site to date, 70 percent are from communities in Imperial County, including Brawley, El Centro, Heber, Imperial and Calexico.
Tenaska Solar Ventures, another affiliate of Tenaska, developed the project. In addition to Tenaska Imperial South, TSV has completed permitting for the Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center West near El Centro and continues to evaluate additional opportunities in the Imperial Valley.
Construction of Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center West is expected to begin in late 2013 or early 2104, with commercial operation in 2015. The solar power generating system would produce up to 150 MW of electricity under a 25-year power purchase agreement with SDG&E. When operating at peak times, it would produce enough electricity to meet the needs of approximately 55,000 California homes.
“We appreciate the reception we received from area officials and community leaders of Imperial County and value the relationships we have been able to form with them,” Ferrara said. “Imperial County is a good place to do business, and we look forward to continuing work on more solar projects in the county.”