| Posted in: News Releases
The Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency’s (WMMPA) Board of Directors, following a recommendation by the Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) Board of Directors, has approved a Build-Own-Transfer Agreement with US Solar for the development and construction of the Marshall Solar Plus project in Marshall, Minnesota.
The solar project will have a rated capacity of 10 megawatts (MW) and is expected to produce about 22,470 megawatt-hours of electricity annually, or enough to serve over 2,000 homes. Marshall Solar Plus will include over 26,000 solar panels on 57 acres of land owned by WMMPA along North 7th Street near the Archer Daniels Midland Company and the 7th Street Substation owned by Marshall Municipal Utilities (MMU).
“Solar power is a carbon-free, renewable resource that will be an important part of our evolving power supply mix as we work to create and maintain a clean and resilient energy future,” said Terry Wolf, vice president of power supply and operations for MRES. “The Marshall site was chosen, in part, for its close proximity to the 7th Street substation, where the project will interconnect to the MMU distribution system.”
Solar power on its own is not dispatchable, meaning it can’t be turned on or off to meet customer demand like other more traditional resources. That’s why WMMPA will also install a 5 MW battery energy storage system. WMMPA intends to have controls on the battery system to allow energy to be stored or injected into the grid based on conditions at the time. “The batteries will add reliability to the project, moving electrical production into the times of the day when it is needed the most,” said Wolf.
Site-grading work has already begun and will be completed prior to construction of the project. Residents can expect to see major equipment onsite in August 2023 and support structures and solar panels being installed by November 2023. Substantial completion of the project is expected in August 2024.
US Solar will obtain state and local permits for the project as they develop, design and construct the project. US Solar was selected in part because of their substantial track record in Minnesota, having developed and completed over 85 individual projects.
WMMPA expects to submit an application to MMU in the near future with the intent to finalize an interconnection agreement.
“MMU’s power supply mix is already 30% renewable and 76% carbon-free,” said MMU General Manager Dave Schelkoph. “The Marshall Solar Plus project will be another clean energy resource for MMU and the other MRES member utilities.”
WMMPA will provide financing for the project. WMMPA is a joint-action agency made up of MRES members in Minnesota. It has provided financing for all of the major generation and transmission facilities with which MRES serves its 61 member municipal electric systems in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.
MRES has a power supply agreement with WMMPA obligating MRES to pay for and WMMPA to supply the entire output of WMMPA-owned facilities. MRES, in turn, has long-term power sales agreements with its members to supply them with wholesale power, energy and transmission to serve their customers.
MMU is a community-owned, not-for-profit municipal utility serving the residents and businesses of Marshall, Minnesota. MMU provides electricity and water service to over 6,500 customers, along with a variety of energy services.
About US Solar
United States Solar Corporation (US Solar) makes solar energy accessible with simple solutions that are as good for the wallet as for the environment. US Solar is a developer, owner, operator and financier of solar generation and energy storage projects with a focus on emerging state markets and community solar programs. US Solar helps residents, public entities and businesses reduce electricity costs with local, renewable energy. They provide deep experience in the solar industry, currently holding one of the largest development portfolios in the region. Additional information about US Solar and a Solar Garden Sunscription can be found by visiting www.us-solar.com.