US Solar, Minnesota Energy Enter PPA for Solar + Storage Challenge

US Solar and Minnesota Power have entered into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for a Solar + storage project in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The project is the result of a collaboration between US Solar, Minnesota Power, Grand Rapids Public Utilities and Itasca Clean Energieteam and Grand Rapids.

"This project is an impressive achievement of the collaboration," said Reed Richerson, COO of US Solar. "It is the culmination of a successful effort between a city, a community utility, an investor-owned utility and a privately owned solar developer to take advantage of renewable energy in Grand Rapids."

US Solar is developing the 2 MW solar array and 1 MW / 2.5 hour energy storage battery on an urban property near Grand Rapids / Itasca County Airport. The energy generated by the solar modules can be stored in the adjacent battery in order to be sent during times of high energy demand or when the sun is not shining. The solar array will contain single-axis trackers and bifacial modules that will significantly increase efficiency.

The environmental benefits for local people go beyond the growth of carbon-free renewable energies. US Solar plans to install a diverse mix of pollinator-friendly, deeply rooted plants throughout the array. This native pollinator habitat supports bees, butterflies, and other local wildlife. This vegetation has also been shown to reduce rainwater runoff and improve the quality of soil, water and air.

The project includes private investments of over $ 6 million and will support over 25 construction jobs. Over the course of the project, local tax revenue and lease payments of over USD 465,000 will be generated, which will benefit Grand Rapids and its residents.

The project is expected to produce clean energy for Grand Rapids Public Utilities customers by the end of 2021.

Photo: US Solar landing page

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