Great River Energy, which provides wholesale electric service to 28 distribution cooperatives in Minnesota and Wisconsin, is developing a large-scale solar project with the Rockford, Minn.-based Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association (WH).
Partially replacing a terminated contract Great River Energy had for fossil-fuel electricity generation, the 2.25 MW Dickinson Solar Project will be a new generation resource to provide wholesale power to WH.
“This project responds to our members’ interest in more renewable energy offerings and allows us to diversify our power resource mix,” states Steve Nisbet, WH vice president of external relations and power solutions.
“This project provides another example of how Great River Energy’s power supply continues to evolve and include more renewable resources in response to member demand,” adds project manager Andy Bergrud of Great River Energy.
Both Great River Energy and WH already have experience with constructing and generating solar energy. Great River Energy completed a 250 kW solar project at its headquarters in Maple Grove, Minn., as well as 19 smaller arrays across its membership in Minnesota. Meanwhile, WH has built two community solar projects, with a third expected to come online later this year. The Dickinson project will be the largest single solar resource to date for both cooperatives.
The new project will be located on 13 acres of land in Buffalo already owned by Great River Energy and consist of 8,360 solar panels manufactured by Heliene. Hudson, Wis.-based Energy Concepts will serve as the project’s principal contractor. Construction is set to begin in late March, with full commercial operation expected in early July.
Image courtesy of Great River Energy: An artist’s rendering of the Dickinson Solar Project.