The North Star Solar project is acting as the flagship solar PV construction in the Midwest, spanning across 1,000 acres of agricultural land on the eastern frontier of Minnesota state. It will be the largest in the region once it is connected to the grid, which called for modules from one of the most preeminent solar manufacturers, JinkoSolar.
In total, 440,000 of JinkoSolar’s 72-cell PV modules will be used for the project, which will account for 140 MWdc of energy. The huge construction is located in Chisago County, which is about 50 miles north of Minneapolis.
“JinkoSolar is committed to ensuring that our products are highly reliable and are backed with dependable service,” commented JinkoSolar (U.S.) General Manager Nigel Cockroft. “Working with longtime partners Swinerton and DESRI on another substantial project like North Star is a testament to this commitment.”
Swinerton Renewable Energy served as the EPC contractor on the project, which marks a significant move for utility-scale solar in a state, which is tentatively welcoming the clean energy technology. An affiliate of D.E. Shaw Renewable Energy has acquired the plant, and will sell the power it generates to Xcel Energy on a 25-year power purchase agreement, once it is connected to grid in December 2016.
Xcel Energy has put a number of eggs in the solar basket, with plans to add an ambitious 1.4 GW of solar to the state by 2030, of which almost half will come from community solar projects.
“We are proud to build a project that will showcase the potential of utility-scale solar in the Midwest,” said George Hershman, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Swinerton Renewable Energy. “Thank you to our respected client, DESRI, our partners, the communities of Chisago County, and the SRE team for their valuable roles in North Star’s success.”