Tenaska offers college scholarship program for Imperial Valley


college graduationEl Centro, California – Seniors graduating this spring from public high schools in Imperial County are reminded to apply for Tenaska’s new college scholarship program. The application deadline for eight $1,000 awards in 2014 is March 3. The scholarship program was instituted for 2014 in celebration of the commercial operation of the company’s first solar project, Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center South near El Centro.

Seniors graduating this spring from public high schools in Imperial County who will be attending a two- or four-year post-secondary education program at an accredited institution may apply. Applications can be obtained from guidance counselors at each of the public high schools. Applications received after the March 3 deadline will not be accepted.

A committee at Tenaska headquarters will select the college-bound seniors to receive the academic scholarships. Preference will be given to students who demonstrate that they are prepared for college study, have good character and rank in the top 50 percent of their class.

“Tenaska is committed to enhancing the community, and education is a key component of the future success of Imperial County and its residents,” said Todd Jonas, senior vice president of operations and asset management. “That’s why we’re proud to help promising high school seniors further their education and prepare to be our next generation of business and community leaders.”

To date, Tenaska has awarded more than $472,000 in scholarships to 626 college-bound seniors in communities where its facilities are located. Tenaska announced in November that it was continuing this tradition with an annual college scholarship program in Imperial County. That announcement followed the Nov. 1 start of commercial operation of Tenaska Imperial South, a 130-megawatt facility that can generate enough electricity to serve 44,000 California homes under a 25-year power purchase agreement with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E).

Tenaska Imperial South, which began construction in 2011, was the first utility-scale solar project to begin construction in the Imperial Valley and the first to connect to SDG&E’s Sunrise Powerlink transmission line. The construction activity generated more than $3 million in local sales taxes and more than $20 million in contracts to local businesses and created hundreds of jobs. Approximately 70 percent of the more than 500 construction workers hired to work at the site were from Imperial County. For its contributions to the region, Tenaska Imperial South received Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation’s 2013 Project of the Year Award.

Over its operational life, Tenaska Imperial South is expected to pay millions of dollars in local sales taxes and contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to the area economy annually in salaries and local contracts and supplies.

Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center West, also near El Centro, is expected to begin construction in the first half of 2014, with initial commercial operation scheduled for 2015. When complete, it will produce up to 150 MW of electricity, enough to meet the electricity needs of approximately 55,000 homes, under a 25-year power purchase agreement with SDG&E.


  1. Litter the desert with panels, bypass control area transmission/distribution revenue,take the natural resource and grandstand promoting leaving crumbs for local pheasants. Just another group of out of town solar salesman shifting our natural resources and economic benefit to the coast.

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