Minnesota-based Dakota Electric Association and its power supplier, Great River Energy, have announced a joint solar project that will provide dedicated solar power directly to Dakota Electric’s membership. The electric co-op says developer SoCore will build the 1 MW solar array along Highway 61 in Marshan Township, Minn.
“We are pleased to announce this significant project,” said Greg Miller, president and CEO of Dakota Electric. “It is solar connected to our grid for the sole benefit of our members.”
“Electric cooperatives continue to lead the way in efforts to develop distributed solar energy systems,” added Jon Brekke, vice president and chief market officer at Great River Energy. “We’re delighted to partner with Dakota Electric Association in further support of renewable energy leadership by local cooperatives.”
According to Dakota Electric, the project’s output will offset the need to receive electricity from fossil-fuel sources, assuring 1 MW of clean, renewable electricity to the co-op’s member-owners. The project is also 50 times larger than a previous one built by Great River Energy on behalf of Dakota Electric that is located in Farmington.
“We have wanted to add large solar projects to our wholesale power mix for some time and are glad that we can now announce this project,” said Miller. “We are already in the process of trying to permit another megawatt of solar for a total of 2 MW.”
According to Dakota Electric, the 1 MW solar project includes approximately 3,600 solar panels on 5 acres of land and will provide enough electricity to serve about 150 average residential members. Preliminary work will be done on the property this fall, with construction taking place in late winter. The co-op expects to energize the solar array in the spring.