Aurora Distributed describes 7.5-MW Lake Pulaski solar project in Minnesota

The Aurora Distributed Solar LLC affiliate of Enel Green Power on Feb. 1 filed with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission a site plan for one of several distributed solar projects. 

In June 2015, the Minnesota commission issued Aurora Distributed Solar a Site Permit to construct a distributed solar project that totals 100 MW in size, but will be built in scattered locations. Since the issuance of the Site Permit, Aurora has continued to refine its plans, including the selection of equipment and design of the facilities.

The Lake Pulaski Facility that is the subject of the Feb. 1 filing will be operated and maintained by Aurora through Aurora’s wholly-owned subsidiary Lake Pulaski Solar LLC. Aurora is providing this memorandum to discuss the Lake Pulaski Facility’s final design, the final design’s overall human and environmental impacts, and the construction methods. This memorandum takes into account the impacts evaluated by Aurora in application for a Site Permit, the Minnesota Department of Commerce in its Environmental Assessment (EA), and the commission’s Site Permit and associated Findings of Fact supporting its permit decision.

The Lake Pulaski Facility has not changed its location, facility size, or preliminary development area from what was evaluated in Aurora’s Site Permit Application, EA and in the commission’s permit. The current design is 7.5 MW (ac) in size.

The solar array consists of photovoltaic modules mounted upon a tracker racking system. The modules will be polycrystalline with a silver border and a dark, sun absorbing surface with an anti-reflective coating. They will be 6.4 feet by 3.1 feet and designed to be installed in a landscape orientation. The array will follow the sun path in a single, horizontal axis from 45 degrees east in the morning to 45 degrees west in the evening with the maximum height of approximately 10 feet at a 45 degree tilt.

The Aurora Solar Energy Project is to be built at the following locations: Albany, Atwater, Brooten, Eastwood, Fiesta City, Hastings, Lake Emily, Lake Pulaski, Lawrence Creek, Lester Prairie, Montrose, Scandia, Waseca, West Faribault and West Waconia. The various sites for this one large project are at substations of Xcel Energy‘s (NYSE: XEL) Northern States Power unit, with this electricity to be sold to Northern States Power under a long-term contract.

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.