General Q & A
Tenaska Solar Ventures

What does it cost to develop a utility-scale solar power plant?

The cost to develop a utility-scale solar power plant varies depending on size, technology, proximity to transmission, and many other factors. The key cost drivers for a utility-scale solar power plant are: development, land, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) equipment/materials, permitting, interconnection, insurance/taxes, working capital, start-up & commissioning and contingency items.

Once these factors are known, performance and operating costs become straightforward because Solar PV is a highly proven technology with a long operational track record.

If you wish to discuss development of a solar power plant, contact Dusty Friedman of Tenaska Solar Ventures at [email protected].

What is Tenaska Solar Ventures’ technology of choice when building a solar power plant?

Tenaska Solar Ventures is not bound to use a particular solar technology or brand. Arriving at the best technology choice considers land constraints, solar irradiance data, technology costs vs. efficiency, and availability, among other factors.

At the Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center South project, for example, photovoltaic (PV) panels are to be used. At the Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center West, Tenaska Solar Ventures proposes to use concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) panels. CPV technology uses lenses to focus large amounts of sunlight onto small photovoltaic cells to generate electricity more efficiently than traditional PV. CPV systems use trackers to continually face the cells to the sun.

What services does Tenaska Solar Ventures provide to the landowner wishing to have a solar power plant built on his or her property?

Tenaska Solar Ventures provides all of the services required to transform land into a solar power plant, including due diligence, site evaluation, permitting, development arrangements, construction management, and operations, through its own team of experienced developers, and through proven professional consultants and contractors.

For a more in-depth look at Tenaska’s suite of services, contact Dusty Friedman of Tenaska Solar Ventures at [email protected].

What services does Tenaska Solar Ventures provide to a utility seeking more electric generation from solar sources?

Tenaska Solar Ventures actively bids into utilities’ Request for Offers (RFOs) and actively seeks bilateral discussions with utilities and other energy providers. Tenaska Solar Ventures is prepared to meet the increasing demand for clean, renewable electric power by contracting with electric utilities under long-term power purchase agreements.

Is there a long-term market for electricity made from solar energy?

We believe there is both an immediate market for renewable energy sources, such as solar, as well as long-term market prospects.

Does Tenaska Solar Ventures buy property from landowners in order to develop solar power plants?

Tenaska is open to purchasing property from landowners in addition to utilizing other financial structures such as long-term lease agreements. Site selection typically focuses on the following positive factors: level terrain, constructability, access to existing and planned transmission infrastructure and compatibility with existing and neighboring land use.

A wide majority of acreage at a commercial-scale solar development is used to accommodate the solar collector field. A limited portion is reserved for the operations and maintenance facilities, a possible electric substation area, planned set-backs and water detention features.

Does Tenaska Solar Ventures develop solar generating stations for a utility?

No, Tenaska contracts with utilities who serve as the off-taker of the power generated at Tenaska’s sites. We are a growing part of solar energy community, helping bring clean, renewable power to population centers by developing facilities that will play an important role in providing reliable, environmentally advantageous electricity and job creation.

For a more complete description of Tenaska’s relationship among utilities, contact Dusty Friedman of Tenaska Solar Ventures at [email protected].

Does Tenaska Solar Ventures have a record of success in solar?

Tenaska Solar Ventures has two large utility-scale projects fully developed. One of them, 946-acre Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center South in Imperial County, Calif., is under construction. Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center West is awaiting construction. The 130- and 150-megawatt (MW) plants will be among the largest solar energy projects in the world. The power produced will be purchased by San Diego Gas & Electric Company under long-term power purchase agreements.

Another Tenaska subsidiary, Tenaska Solar, LLC, has an equity interest in Soltage, LLC, a company engaged in installation and management of rooftop photovoltaic electric systems.

Does Tenaska Solar Ventures arrange project financing?

Tenaska Solar Ventures is an affiliate of Tenaska, a privately held independent energy company headquartered in Omaha, Neb. Over the past 25 years, Tenaska has developed a strong reputation for responsible development, construction, ownership and operation of non-utility generation and cogeneration plants, and energy marketing experience.

Tenaska is well known in the project finance markets to arrangers, participating lending institutions and the rating agencies. Project Finance Magazine named Tenaska as its 2004 “Project Sponsor of the Year” for North America due to its success in implementing capital markets financings of power plants. Tenaska itself has successfully raised approximately $11.5 billion in aggregate financing. Additionally, an affiliate, Tenaska Capital Management, leverages Tenaska expertise to manage approximately $4 billion in private equity investments.

For more information about Tenaska and Tenaska Capital Management, go to and

Does Tenaska Solar Ventures operate commercial-scale solar power plants?

Tenaska retains an operations and maintenance services provider to operate and maintain its current projects. Decisions regarding contracted services are made on a case-by-case basis.

Where can I see an example of Tenaska Solar Venture power developments?

Follow these links to Tenaska Silverleaf Solar Energy Center, Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center South and Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center West.

How does solar power generating income compare to farm income?

While the analysis can be complex and vary by site, our primary findings from feasibility studies we’ve conducted have shown a greater overall benefit to most farmers when using land for solar power plants as opposed to generating income from farming operations. Tenaska Solar Ventures can help conduct the due diligence essential to measure expected financial results.

How can I reach someone from Tenaska Solar Ventures to discuss my commercial-scale solar generation project?

Tenaska Solar Ventures has designated Dusty Friedman to receive calls and emails seeking more information about commercial-scale solar generation projects (10 megawatts (MW) to 1,000 MW or more—there is no upper limit to size). He may be reached at (402) 938-1687, [email protected], or by using the response forms accessed through the website homepage.



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