Minnesota PUC opens public review of Marshall Solar project

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on March 16 issued a notice about a March 4 application from Marshall Solar LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources LLC, for a Site Permit on a 62.25-MW photovoltaic solar energy project.

Because the project is a generating plant larger than 50 MW, it meets the definition of a large energy facility and would require a Certificate of Need (CN) prior to issuance of a Site Permit and construction, unless otherwise exempt from the CN requirements. The project is exempt from CN requirements because it was selected by the commission through a competitive resource approval process to meet Northern States Power’s (NSP) renewable energy obligations. At its Feb. 12 agenda meeting, the commission orally approved the power purchase agreement (PPA) between NSP and Marshall Solar. A written order from the commission is pending.

The Marshall Solar Energy Project will be sited on approximately 510 acres of agricultural land approximately four miles east of Marshall, Minnesota, in Lyon County. The project will interconnect to the adjacent Lyon County Substation owned and operated NSP.

The commission has up to six months from the time the application is accepted as complete to process and make a decision on the Site Permit. Within 60 days after the commission accepts the application as complete, the commission and state Department of Commerce’s Energy Environmental Review and Analysis (EERA) unit will hold a public meeting to provide information and seek comments from the public. After the environmental assessment is completed, a public hearing (conducted by an administrative law judge from the Office of Administrative Hearings) will be held on the application.

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.