Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center South has become the Imperial Valley’s first large-scale solar energy facility to deliver power to the Sunrise Powerlink, which was energized nearly a year ago.
Tenaska Solar Ventures, SDG&E and more than 130 Imperial Valley business and government leaders, local and state officials celebrated the major milestone during a “Power On” event this past week.
Tenaska Imperial South is one of eight renewable projects SDG&E signed purchase agreements for totaling more than 1,100 megawatts (MW) of power in Imperial Valley that would be transmitted across the Sunrise Powerlink.
“The Sunrise Powerlink is the largest and most significant project in the history of SDG&E and we are thrilled that Tenaska is delivering its first energy from this project to our infrastructure,” said SDG&E’s senior vice president of Power Supply, Jim Avery. “SDG&E is a leader in the acquisition of renewable energy and our partnership with Tenaska is an important part of meeting the state’s clean energy goals.”
Currently, Tenaska Imperial South is producing approximately 40 MW. When the project is complete later this year, it will produce up to 130 MW, enough to power approximately 44,000 homes.
SDG&E and Tenaska have also contracted for a second solar project, the Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center West, which will produce up to 150 MW and is expected to come online in 2015.
The first renewable project to connect to the Sunrise Powerlink was Pattern Energy’s Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility, a 265 MW project located near the community of Ocotillo, in Imperial County. A portion of this facility was energized in December. Several more SDG&E-contracted renewable projects are under construction, or will be under construction soon.