The Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (MMPA) has announced that a 7 MW utility-scale solar facility, located in the agency’s member community of Buffalo, Minn., has entered commercial operation and is now providing power to local homes and businesses. The agency has committed to purchasing 100% of the renewable power output from the Buffalo Solar facility.
Joseph Steffel, utilities director for Buffalo Municipal Utilities, says, “We are excited to have this renewable power generation asset in our community.”
The Buffalo Solar facility, comprised of more than 25,000 solar panels, connects directly to the City of Buffalo’s electric distribution system. Power from the facility will help MMPA meet the Minnesota Renewable Energy Standard, which requires 25% of the agency’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2025.
Oncu Er, senior vice president for MMPA management partner Avant Energy, says, “We plan to continue to invest in both renewable energy projects and clean, efficient, natural gas generation projects to meet the future energy and capacity needs of our member communities.”
In addition to the power output provided by the Buffalo Solar facility, MMPA’s renewable energy portfolio includes 122 MW of wind energy from the Black Oak Getty Wind Farm and Oak Glen Wind Farm, 8 MW of bioenergy from Hometown BioEnergy, and renewable energy purchases from other utilities.
MMPA says it takes a long-term approach to power supply planning that includes assembling a diversified portfolio of owned and purchased generation containing both conventional and renewable resources – a method the agency claims allows it to maintain flexibility in the rapidly changing electric utility industry.
MMPA provides wholesale electricity to its member communities, which in turn deliver and sell that electricity to local residential and business customers. The agency is comprised of municipal utilities in Anoka, Arlington, Brownton, Buffalo, Chaska, East Grand Forks, Elk River, Le Sueur, North St. Paul, Olivia, Shakopee and Winthrop.