Minnesota agency releases enviro review on 100-MW solar project

The Minnesota Department of Commerce’s Energy Environmental Review and Analysis (EERA) office announced Feb. 2 the release of the environmental assessment for the proposed Aurora Distributed Solar Project.

Aurora Distributed Solar LLC proposes to build an up to 100-MW distributed solar project at up to 24 locations in Benton, Blue Earth, Carver, Chippewa, Chisago, Dodge, Goodhue, Kandiyohi, Le Sueur, McLeod, Pipestone, Rice, Stearns, Waseca, Washington and Wright counties.

Aurora proposes to construct the project to provide distributed solar energy to meet Northern States Power d/b/a Xcel Energy’s needs for additional capacity in the 2017-2019 timeframe. As a result of a competitive resource acquisition process to select resources to meet Xcel Energy’s identified need, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission directed Xcel Energy to negotiate a draft power purchase agreement for the project. The commission is now required by Minnesota rule to hold a public hearing now that the EA has been completed. 

The proposed power plant locations range in nameplate capacity from 1.5 MW to 10 MW. Preliminary estimates of developed area for each project range from approximately 13 acres to 108 acres.

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.