Minnesota PUC may approve 100-MW North Star Solar project on Jan. 20

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission at its Jan. 20 meeting is due to look at answering a series of questions about the 100-MW North Star Solar PV LLC project, said a Jan. 13 commission staff memo.

North Star Solar PV in February 2015 applied to the commission for a site permit and a route permit to construct a 100-MW photovoltaic facility and an associated one-mile-long, 115-kV high-voltage transmission line. The final solar facility design is expected to occupy 800 acres of land within the city of North Branch and Lent and Sunrise townships in Chisago County, Minnesota.

The primary components of the solar facility include photovoltaic modules mounted on a linear single-axis tracking system, solar inverters, and a project substation. The associated 115-kV transmission line is proposed to be constructed within an approximately 75-foot right-of-way that would connect the project substation with the existing Northern States Power d/b/a Xcel Energy Chisago Substation.

The questions to be addressed at the Jan. 20 meeting include:

  • Should the commission adopt the administrative law judge’s Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Recommendation?
  • Should the commission find that the environmental assessment and the record created at the public hearing adequately address the issues identified in the scoping decision?
  • Should the commission grant a site permit for the solar facility?
  • Should the commission grant a route permit for the transmission line?

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator in November 2015 filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission a Generator Interconnection Agreement with North Star Solar PV and Northern States Power for this project. MISO has designated this project as project No. J385 in its interconnection queue. This is a solar facility rated at 100 MW net. The facility is composed of 50 SMA inverter units in a solar photovoltaic farm rated at 2.2 MVA each.  The project’s targeted commercial operation date under this agreement is Oct. 1, 2016.

Listed project contact information is: North Star Solar PV LLC, Attn: Eric Blank, Three Radnor Corporate Center, Suite 300, 100 Matsonford Rd., Radnor, PA 19087, Phone: 484-654-1877, Fax: 484-654-2136.

North Star Solar PV is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Community Energy Renewables LLC, which develops, markets and builds renewable energy projects throughout the United States.

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.