Xcel Energy has announced that one of the largest solar installations in Minnesota is now delivering renewable energy to its utility customers in the upper Midwest.
The Marshall Solar Energy Project – owned and operated by Marshall Solar LLC, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources LLC – started commercial operations on Jan. 9. According to Xcel, the 62.25 MW facility will generate enough electricity to power about 15,000 upper Midwest homes. The solar project was constructed on approximately 355 acres of privately owned property in Lyon County, near Marshall, Minn., and Xcel Energy is now purchasing power from the facility as part of a 25-year deal to provide solar energy to customers.
“We’re pleased to work with NextEra Energy Resources on this large-scale solar project delivering the renewable energy our customers want at a competitive price,” says Chris Clark, president, Xcel Energy – Minnesota. “The Marshal Solar Energy Project puts us on a path to achieve our goal to be 63 percent carbon-free by 2030, and we’re excited to see this facility come online.”
“We are pleased to once again work with our valued customer, Xcel Energy, to bring additional renewables into their portfolio with our first solar project in Minnesota,” adds Mike O’Sullivan, senior vice president of development for NextEra Energy Resources, which is the owner and operator of the project. “This project will provide significant tax dollars for schools and essential services in the region and will generate cost-effective, clean, solar energy for years to come.”
The solar project also serves as a boost to the southwest Minnesota economy. According to Xcel, nearly 300 workers and staff were employed for the construction of the project, and an estimated $400,000 in annual tax revenue will be generated for the state and local governments, as well as area schools, during the operational life of the project.
In addition to Marshall Solar, Xcel notes the North Star Solar Project became operational in December, and the Aurora Project has facilities coming online as they are completed, with completion of the entire project expected this year. Xcel Energy’s ultimate goal is to have nearly 10% of its electricity generated from solar by 2030.