Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Clean Power

After Beating Out Natural Gas Option, ENEL Green Power Solar Project Begins In Minnesota

Originally published on PlanetSave

Enel Green Power North America (EGPNA), the local subsidiary of Italian utility Enel, has stated work is underway on Aurora, a distributed solar project in Minnesota, ruled by a judge in 2014 to be a better, more cost-effective investment decision than was a natural gas option.

The project, containing 150 MW DC of solar PV, is spread across 16 sites. It is said to be capable of putting 100 MW AC into the grid. Forecast to generate 210 million kWh of electricity annually, the entire project is expected to be online by the end of 2016. EGPNA will own the project through a further subsidiary, Aurora Distributed Solar.

Minnesota welcome sugn shutterstock_411399994

Enel claims this will be EGNA’s biggest project in North America to date. There is a long-term power purchase agreement in place with Minnesota utility Xcel Energy.

The Aurora solar farm is expected to generate enough electricity to power more than 17,000 average US households. Additionally, the facility has calculated it will eliminate 150,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.

According to the company, the design of the solar farm’s 16 small-scale PV plants delivers a range of benefits, such as a reduction in transmission costs, reduced in-line loss and geographic diversification of generation assets. All 16 plants of the Aurora facility will utilize linear axis tracking devices to increase efficiency.

“By maximizing the distributed solar model, Aurora highlights how innovation and design are driving the future of renewables, while providing communities with access to energy that delivers both the biggest possible environmental benefits and the most economic value,” said EGPNA chief Rafael Gonzalez.

As reported by PV Tech in January 2014, a Minnesota administrative judge ruled the unsubsidized Aurora project was a better deal for ratepayers than natural gas. This was determined by a competitive bidding process. The state’s regulator, the Public Utilities Commission, had ordered bidding should be structured to help Xcel add 150 MW of generation capacity by 2017. The Aurora distributed solar project was eventually chosen from five energy resources.

The Aurora solar project is the third EGPNA PV facility in the US. It accompanies the 61 MW Stillwater geo-PV hybrid plant in Nevada and the 2.4 MW Sheldon Springs Solar plant in Vermont. In total, EGPNA US and Canadian renewable projects include solar, wind, geothermal, and hydropower plants totaling more than 2.5 GW of installed capacity.

Image via Shutterstock

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.

Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

is a writer, producer, and director. Meyers was editor and site director of Green Building Elements, a contributing writer for CleanTechnica, and is founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.


You May Also Like

Clean Power

In a brilliant case of epic timing, MISO announced a new transmission line plan for more renewable energy in the US midsection earlier this...

Clean Power

Research could improve efficiency for storing renewable energy, making carbon-free fuels, and manufacturing sustainable materials Research News, College of Science & Engineering, University of...

Clean Power

Solar panels are sprouting up in farms and rural communities all over the countryside, winning hearts and minds, if not votes.

Climate Change

Deep waters in temperate climate lakes have already lost almost 20 percent of their oxygen supply. Originally published on Nexus Media. By Kaitlin Sullivan On a...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.