US-based independent power producer Tenaska’s new 150MW solar plant in Southern California has started full commercial operation.

Known as Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center West, the new plant is capable of generating enough electricity for approximately 55,000 homes. Tenaska has signed a 25-year supply agreement with the San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E).

Tenaska's vice chairman and chief executive officer Jerry Crouse said: “SDG&E has aggressively pursued clean, reliable, and affordable energy for its consumers. We are proud that Tenaska projects will be significant contributors to its renewable energy supply for years to come.

"Sunrise Powerlink is the foundation for giving all of our customers’ access to renewable energy."

“Similarly to other Tenaska facilities, Tenaska Imperial West was developed, engineered, and constructed safely, in an environmentally responsible manner, on time and within budget.”

Construction of the solar plant began in November 2014 and was managed by contractor First Solar, who will also operate plant on a long-term basis. Located in southwest Imperial County, the project consists of 1.8 million photovoltaic panels.

SDG&E's vice-president of energy procurement Emily Shults said: “Powering homes and businesses with universal solar is good for our customers and our state.

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“Sunrise Powerlink is the foundation for giving all of our customers’ access to renewable energy. We look forward to all of the innovations on the horizon that will unlock clean, safe, and affordable energy choices for our customers.”

The company said that it will continue to explore opportunities for renewables development, including solar and wind.