Minnesota PUC may on Feb. 4 approve the 62-MW Marshall Solar project

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission at its Feb. 4 meeting will look at whether to approve a March 2015 site permit application from Marshall Solar LLC for a 62.25-MW project.

Commission staff on Jan. 28 filed a pre-meeting memo that summarizes the case so far. Staff said the questions to be addressed at the Feb. 4 meeting are:

  • Should the commission adopt the Administrative Law Judge’s Findings of Fact, Conclusion of Law, and Recommendation that backs the project?
  • Should the commission find that the environmental assessment and the record created at the public hearing adequately addresses the issues identified in the scoping decision?
  • Should the commission issue a site permit for the 62.25-MW solar facilities in Lyon County?

The final solar facility design is expected to occupy 515 acres of land approximately four miles east of Marshall in Lyon County. The primary components of the solar facility include photovoltaic modules mounted on south-facing fixed arrays, inverters and transformers, an electrical collection system and an on-site project substation. The associated facilities would connect to the existing Northern States Power d/b/a Xcel Energy Lyon County Substation, which is adjacent to the solar project area. No off-site transmission lines are necessary to interconnect the project.

On Dec. 31, 2015, the ALJ filed the proposed findings in this matter. The ALJ report included 224 findings of fact, including a summary of public comments and government agency participation; conclusions of law; and four recommendations. The ALJ recommended that the commission grant this site permit.

Said the Jan. 28 memo from commission staff: “Staff has examined the full record in this case and agrees with the findings, conclusions, and recommendations reached by the ALJ. Staff finds that the ALJ Report is a sound, comprehensive and common sense ruling that is reflective of the case record. The report documents that the procedural requirements of the review process were followed and presents findings of fact for each of the decision criteria that must be met for a site permit for a large electric power generating plant.”

Marshall Solar is a wholly owned subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources LLC, which is a unit of NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE).

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.