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Tenaska finances solar energy project

Tenaska finances solar energy project

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Omaha energy company Tenaska Inc. said Thursday it has financed its 130-megawatt Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center South project near El Centro, Calif., issuing $319.4 million in long-term notes.

The bonds’ investment-grade rating of BBB- from Standard & Poors and Knoll Inc., reflects the project’s soundness, said Jerry Crouse, CEO of Tenaska’s energy division. The bonds carry a 5.371 percent annual fixed-rate coupon.

San Diego Gas and Energy agreed to buy power from the project for 25 years. Its two million solar panels began full operation this month and can generate enough electricity for 44,000 homes.

Tenaska is majority owner and manager of the project. Prudential Capital Group is acquiring an undisclosed minority interest.

Tenaska said it also plans to finance a second, nearby solar energy plant soon. Construction is to begin next year, with operation starting in 2015.

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