El Centro, California - The owners of Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center South and Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center West, utility-scale solar projects in Imperial County, have awarded a total of $8,000 in college scholarships to graduating Imperial County high school students.

Since the program was announced in 2013, the solar facilities have presented a total of $48,000 in scholarships. This year, eight $1,000 scholarships were awarded.

A committee at Tenaska headquarters selected the promising college-bound seniors to receive the academic scholarships. Preference was 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.

“Education is the means to a brighter future for young people,” said Todd Jonas, Tenaska senior vice president of operations. “We are pleased to help these promising students further their education goals and become tomorrow’s leaders.”

  • At Brawley Union High School, Kasandra Nuñez, daughter of Marco and Sandra Nuñez, of Brawley, received a scholarship.
  • Calexico High School’s Aleyda Arana Aguilar, daughter of Jesus Eduardo Arana, of Calexico, received a scholarship.
  • Calipatria High School senior Sadie Chavez, daughter of Johnny Chavez III, of Calipatria, received a scholarship.
  • Central Union High School’s Jesus Ayala, son of Evangelina and Manuel Ayala, of El Centro, received a scholarship.
  • At Holtville High School, Evan Howard, son of Samuel and Desirée Howard, of El Centro, received a scholarship.
  • Imperial High School’s Ella McDonald, daughter of Patty and Mac McDonald, of Imperial, received a scholarship.
  • From San Pasqual Valley High School, the scholarship recipient was Savanna Matthews, daughter of Deborah Hall, of Winterhaven.
  • Southwest High School senior Alessandra Vasquez, daughter of Joshua Rodriguez, of El Centro, received a scholarship.

The annual scholarship program managed by Omaha, Nebraska-based Tenaska has awarded approximately $760,000 in scholarships nationwide. Roughly 885 students in communities where its facilities are located have benefited from the program since 2000.

The 130-megawatt (MW) Tenaska Imperial South and 150-MW Tenaska Imperial West each operate under 25-year power purchase agreements with San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E). Combined, the solar fields generate enough power for 99,000 California homes.

Over their operational lives, Tenaska Imperial South and Tenaska Imperial West are 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 South and Tenaska Imperial West are owned, respectively, by CSOLAR IV South and CSOLAR IV West, which are comprised of affiliates of Tenaska and Capital Dynamics.