Enel Green Power North America Inc. (EGPNA), a subsidiary of Italy-based Enel S.p.A., has begun construction of a utility-scale distributed solar project, named Aurora, in Minnesota. This project will mark the Enel Group’s largest solar plant in North America.
According to the company, Aurora, owned by EGPNA subsidiary Aurora Distributed Solar LLC, will comprise 16 PV plants with a total installed capacity of 150 MW and will be able to generate over 210 kWh annually.
The project will boast a distributed solar design that consists of multiple small-scale sites and will deliver a reduction in line loss, elimination of transmission costs and geographic diversification of generation assets, says EGPNA. In addition, the sites will use linear axis tracking devices and will be interconnected to the off-taker’s distribution system.
Construction of Aurora – which EGPNA says will create around 400 jobs – will require an overall investment of approximately $290 million, which will be partially funded through a capital contribution agreement with State Street Bank and Trust Company2 in the amount of $140 million.
EGPNA already owns and operates two wind farms in the Minnesota – Prairie Rose and Minnesota Wind – which have a combined installed capacity of 230 MW. Once online, the Aurora project will increase EGPNA’s total installed capacity in the state to 380 MW.
The project has a long-term power purchase agreement with utility Xcel Energy in Minnesota and is expected to come online by the end of this year.