Construction has started on what will be the largest solar panel project in the Midwest.
The North Star Solar Project, located in Chisago County, Minnesota, will be a considerable 100 MW system once completed. Its expected completion time is by the end of 2016.
This project is getting an extra push towards completion due to Shaw Renewable Investments, L.L.C. acquiring it from Community Energy, Inc. “We are pleased to partner with renewable industry leaders like Xcel Energy and Community Energy as we begin construction on the largest solar energy project in the Midwest” – Bryan Martin – Managing Director of Shaw.
Located on private agricultural land, North Star will be able to send enough electricity for 20,000 nearby homes. The system will comprise of 400,000 solar modules utilizing a solar tracking system for optimized efficiency.
Chris Clark, president of Xcel Energy Minnesota, knows how important this project is to his utility’s renewable energy goals – “This large scale solar project is part of our plan to double the amount of renewable energy we deliver to customers and achieve a 63 percent carbon free energy by 2030.”
Swinerton Renewable Energy will be the firm responsible for the actual construction of North Star. The project will enable 300 jobs during construction. “We are proud to play a role in the continued growth of the utility-scale solar economy in the Midwest.” – George Hershman – Senior Vice President of Swinerton.
This story is just the latest example of proof that solar energy is more than price competitive. It’s now the best economic choice in many cases. This utility-scale solar project will offer cheap electricity when it is often most expensive – during early peak hours.
Undoubtedly, as more people in the St. Paul area learn about these large-scale solar projects, they’ll begin to become more aware of solar power, in general. Local homeowners will then look to take advantage of low solar pricing as well.