The ratings agency also affirmed its view on the bonds of a geothermal project, and said its view arose from an number of reasons, including the underlying credit quality of the project participants and NCPA’s take-or-pay power purchase agreements.

In addition, Fitch said NCPA’s management experience and service framework had led it to analyse projects on a utility perspective and not simply case-by-case.

NCPA’s hydr opower project on the North Fork of the Stanislaus river in central California, US, has an installed capacity of 252MW. The scheme includes the New Spicer Meadow dam, diversion dams, and McKay Point Reservoir.

Project costs for the scheme have more than doubled to US cents 8.9 per kWh due to low water flows. It noted that the availability factors on the project were more than 95% in the last four years.

The agency is a joint power body that provides 16 member in northern California with some of their electricity needs from a mix of energy sources as well as purchased power. Hydro power is provided to 11 participants.