Solar power project gets OK from Minnesota regulators

solar farm elp 4

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A $250 million solar power project that is expected to become the largest of its kind in Minnesota received approval Thursday from state regulators.

Edina-based Geronimo Energy plans to install solar panels at as many as 21 sites across the state as part of its Aurora Solar Project. Geronimo officials plan to spread out the sites to make sure cloudy weather doesn't affect the system.

The utility's project would increase Minnesota's solar output sevenfold. Plans call for its completion next year and for the power to be sold to Xcel Energy.

"This project is unique because it's designed to be delivered directly into Xcel's distribution system, as opposed to a larger plant or even a wind project that might be located more remotely, which sends electricity over high voltage transmission lines," said Betsy Engelking, a Geronimo Energy vice president.

In March, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission determined that the Aurora Solar Project is an effective way for Xcel to meet peak electricity demand on hot summer days during which air conditioners are run. The project also will help Xcel meet the solar standard in Minnesota.

"They are looking for reliable supply for their peak days, which tend to be the hottest days of the summer," Engelking said. "Their hottest days of the summer also tend to be their sunniest days of the summer, so it aligns very, very nicely with Xcel's peak load."

The panels are set to be installed on sites near existing electric substations, eschewing costly transmission lines. Many of the sites are farmland.

Did You Like this Article? Get All the Energy Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to an email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now


Logistics Risk Management in the Transformer Industry

Transformers often are shipped thousands of miles, involving multiple handoffs,and more than a do...

Secrets of Barco UniSee Mount Revealed

Last year Barco introduced UniSee, a revolutionary large-scale visualization platform designed to...

The Time is Right for Optimum Reliability: Capital-Intensive Industries and Asset Performance Management

Imagine a plant that is no longer at risk of a random shutdown. Imagine not worrying about losing...

Going Digital: The New Normal in Oil & Gas

In this whitepaper you will learn how Keystone Engineering, ONGC, and Saipem are using software t...

Latest PennEnergy Jobs

PennEnergy Oil & Gas Jobs