MISO works out grid upgrade deal for 100-MW solar project in Minnesota

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator on Sept. 10 filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission a preliminary engineering agreement with North Star Solar PV LLC and transmission owner Northern States Power related to a 100-MW solar project.

North Star Solar PV plans to own, construct, and operate a facility located in Chisago County, Minnesota, which will consist of fifty 2-MW transformers with one 2-MW solar inverter per transformer, with a total output of 100 MW net solar generation. The facility is currently expected to interconnect with the Chisago County Substation of Northern States Power, a unit of Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL).

The purpose of this agreement is to advance the implementation of North Star Solar PV’s Interconnection Request before the terms of a Provisional Generator Interconnection Agreement (PGIA) or a Generator Interconnection Agreement (GIA) are negotiated, and while the Interconnection Studies are being performed. Northern States Power will commence engineering, design, and permitting for the grading associated with the expansion of its Chisago County Substation. It will also commence preliminary engineering and ordering of 115 kV breakers, transmission line structures, and other associated equipment.

Under this agreement, Oct. 31, 2016, is the commercial operation target date for this project.

A project contact is: North Star Solar PV LLC, Attn: Eric Blank, Community Energy Solar LLC, 1120 Pearl Street, Suite 200, Boulder, CO, 80302.

This project is also the subject of a combined plant siting and supporting power line review proceeding at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. The commission has set Jan. 21, 2016, as the target for the final decision in that case, with a local public hearing coming up on Oct. 7.

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.