Tonopah Solar seeks approval for outside investors in 125-MW project

Tonopah Solar Energy LLC, which has a 125-MW solar project in Nevada, on Feb. 24 applied with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for approval of a change in its upstream ownership related to new passive investors.

Under this pending deal, each of Bankers Commercial Corp. (BCC), Capital One N.A. and Toyota Tsusho Tonopah Solar LLC (TT Investor) would acquire the passive, non-controlling Class A membership interests in Tonopah Solar Energy Holdings II LLC, which is the direct parent company of the applicant, and there would be an change of the membership interests that Tonopah Solar Energy Holdings I LLC owns in Tonopah Holdings II to Class B membership interests.

The company requested a quick FERC approval, by March 25, to accommodate closing of the transaction as soon as possible thereafter.

Tonopah owns and operates a 125 MW (nameplate) concentrating solar thermal project and associated facilities and equipment that is located in Nye County, Nevada. Tonopah will sell electric energy, capacity and/or ancillary services exclusively at wholesale. The commission has granted Tonopah market-based rate authority. Tonopah is an EWG under the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2005 and the commission’s promulgating regulations.

Tonopah owns limited, radial electric interconnection facilities necessary to effectuate its wholesale power sales from the Tonopah Project. The Tonopah Project is interconnected to the transmission facilities and system owned by Nevada Power d/b/a NV Energy.

Tonopah has entered into a long-term power sale agreement (i.e., 25 years) under which it will sell all of the power produced by the Tonopah Project to Nevada Power once the energy production operations of the project begin.

Currently, Tonopah Holdings I directly owns 100% of the membership interests in Tonopah Holdings II. Cobra Energy Investments LLC has part ownership here. Cobra is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of ACS Servicos Communicaciones y Energia, S. L., which is a Spanish company whose stock is publicly traded on Spain’s stock exchange. Cobra’s business is to own indirect interests in Tonopah. SolarReserve Inc. is another current part owner.

As for the passive interest buyers:

  • BCC is owned by MUFG Americas Holdings Corp., a bank holding company headquartered in San Francisco, California.
  • Capital One is based in McLean, Virginia, and offers a broad spectrum of banking products and financial service to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients.
  • TT Investor is a direct, wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyota Tsusho Power USA Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyota Tsusho Corp., which is a multinational trading company, organized under the laws of Japan.
About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.