NRG builds five solar projects in Minnesota ranging up to 5-MW (ac) in size

NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) on Sept. 27 announced that its renewables business has broken ground on its first five community solar projects in Minnesota and reached agreements to subscribe several national business customers to its solar farms in the state.

“Across Minnesota we are hearing the same strong message from residents and businesses alike: they want to be powered by affordable, renewable energy,” said Drew Warshaw, Vice President, Community Solar, NRG. “Community solar gives them that opportunity – a simple, cost-effective path for residents and businesses to go solar without having to put panels on their roofs.”

NRG’s commitment to developing community solar in Minnesota is moving forward with 25-year Solar Subscription Agreements (SSAs) signed by more than 1,000 residents and several large businesses in the state including U.S. Bank, Land O’Lakes, retailer Macy’s and Ecolab.

NRG’s renewables business has broken ground on these five solar projects in Minnesota:

  • Forest Lake Project in Washington County – 6.7 MW dc (5 MW ac);
  • Farmington Project in Dakota County – 6.1 MW dc (5 MW ac);
  • Pine Island Project in Goodhue County – 3.5 MW dc (2.9 MW ac);
  • Highway 14 Project in Olmstead County – 6.7 MW dc (5 MW ac);
  • Dodge Project in Dodge County – 6.1 MW dc (5 MW ac).

All of the projects are slated for completion by early 2017. These five solar farms will serve both businesses and residential customers.

Business and residential customers in Minnesota subscribe to an NRG community solar farm by signing a 25-year SSA. Electricity generated at the solar farm goes to the local utility’s grid. Customers then receive a bill credit from their utility — in this case, Northern States Power d/b/a Xcel Energy — for their subscribed share of the electricity produced by the community solar farm.