The PPA stems from energy to be produced by the 400 kW Saint John's Solar Farm, located at Saint John's Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minn. The PPA is subject to approval by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.
‘We are excited to be involved with this initiative to deploy solar energy in Minnesota on a large scale,’ says Laura McCarten, regional vice president of Northern States Power Co.-Minnesota, an Xcel Energy company. ‘In the educational environment of Saint John's University, this development will offer a valuable opportunity to further solar technology and study its effectiveness in Minnesota and this region of the country.’
According to the companies, Saint John's Solar Farm is the largest solar facility in the state and the first ground-mounted linear tracker in the Upper Midwest. The project was partially funded by ratepayers of Xcel Energy through the Renewable Development Fund and is intended to showcase Minnesota's solar resources while serving as an educational laboratory for Saint John's students to study the benefits of linear tracking in northern latitudes.
Best Power Int'l LLC contracted with Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Westwood Renewables to design and build the facility. Project partners included Mortenson Construction, Hunt Electric and Veit Cos.