Minnesota commission issues permits for 100-MW North Star Solar PV project

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Feb. 16 issued the final power plant site and transmission route permits for a 100-MW project of North Star Solar PV LLC.

In February 2015, North Star Solar PV filed a joint application for a site and a route permit to construct a 100-MW photovoltaic (PV) solar facility, and a 115-kV transmission line to the Chisago Substation, both located in Chisago County. North Star proposes to construct the project at a single location in Chisago County, covering approximately 800 acres. The administrative law judge (ALJ) handling the case had recommended approving the permits, subject to certain basic conditions, following an environmental review by the state Department of Commerce.

Said the Feb. 16 order: “Having reviewed the record, including North Star’s application, the Department’s environmental assessment, the parties’ comments, and the ALJ’s report, the Commission agrees with the parties and the ALJ that North Star has met the requirements for a solar energy site permit and a high-voltage transmission line route permit.”

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 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. This is project No. J385 in MISO’s interconnection queue. 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.