National Grid Renewables Hosts "Homegrown Minnesolar" Community Event to Celebrate Two Minnesota Solar Projects

PR Newswire
Thursday, June 20, 2024 at 11:34pm UTC

National Grid Renewables Hosts "Homegrown Minnesolar" Community Event to Celebrate Two Minnesota Solar Projects

PR Newswire

Celebration included farmer's market and presentation of two local education funds

MINNEAPOLIS, June 20, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Last week, Minnesota-based National Grid Renewables hosted a community event celebrating two new solar projects located in Southern Minnesota – the 50 megawatt (MW) Louise Solar Project located in Mower County, and the Fillmore County Solar Project located in Fillmore County. The "Homegrown Minnesolar" event brought together community members, landowners, customers, partners, and local officials to celebrate and recognize the positive impact of these projects to the local communities and residents.

"We're incredibly proud of our farmer-founded roots that began right here in Minnesota," said Blake Nixon, president of National Grid Renewables. "As a Minnesota-headquartered company, today is an exciting day. The Fillmore County and Louise Solar projects represent our deep commitment to boosting economic vitality in communities throughout rural America in the form of new investment driving economic growth, tax revenue, jobs, and charitable funding."

Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy has an agreement to purchase 80 megawatts of energy from the Fillmore County and Louise solar projects to deliver to its customers throughout the Upper Midwest.

"Solar energy — combined with the nation-leading amounts of wind power we're bringing onto our system, the retirement of our coal plants and the continued operation of our carbon-free nuclear fleet — supports our vision of providing 100% carbon-free electricity to our customers," said Ryan Long, president of Xcel Energy–Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. "At the same time, these solar installations will help us open up new subscriptions in our popular Renewable*Connect program, which allows participating customers to attribute more of their energy use to renewable sources and support the clean energy transition."

In partnership with Renewing the Countryside, the event featured a farmer's market, showcasing local farmers and vendors, including Squash Blossom Farm, Leafy Legacy Family Farm, Seven Songs Organic Farm, CannonBelles Cheese, Carlson Roasting, The Bee Shed, Simple Soaps for Simple Folks, Joe Mama BBQ Sauce, and Schmidt Farm. Products available at the market included a variety of jams, honey, chocolates, and other delicious items produced by local makers.

"Including a farmers market at the event was a great way to allow attendees to try and buy some of the area's best local foods," said Marlene Petersen, Community Outreach Ambassador at Renewing the Countryside, who helped organize the farmer market vendors. "It also supported nine local agribusinesses, all of whom help the regional economy flourish. We all appreciated being invited and had a lot of fun enjoying great food and making new connections."

Event attendees also had the opportunity to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Louise Solar project, where guests were able to see and learn first-hand how a solar project is built. Both projects utilize First Solar Series 6+ Bifacial modules and are being constructed by Berry Construction.

Last week, National Grid Renewables also announced their pledge of $380,000 in total contributions to charitable funding through the Fillmore and Louise projects. The projected contributions will be divided between two education funds supporting the Southland and LeRoy-Ostrander school districts. Together, Fillmore and Louise will contribute more than $30 million in direct economic impact over the first 20 years of operation, including over $4 million in new tax revenue to be distributed to local townships and counties. An estimated 300 construction workers built the projects, and the projects will each employ 1-2 operations and maintenance team members.

In addition to the economic benefits provided by both Fillmore and Louise, there are many environmental benefits as well. Using the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator, the Fillmore and Louise projects are estimated to offset carbon dioxide emissions annually by a combined 2.4 million metric tons during the first 20 years of operations. This is equivalent to removing 568,400 cars off the road for one year. Additionally, the projects will also avoid a combined 4.4 billion gallons of water over the first 20 years of operations.

About National Grid Renewables
National Grid Renewables develops, owns and operates large-scale renewable energy assets across the United States, including solar, wind, and energy storage. As a farmer-friendly and community-focused business, National Grid Renewables repowers America's electricity grid by reigniting local economies and reinvesting in a sustainable, clean energy future. National Grid Renewables supports National Grid's vision of being at the heart of a clean, fair, and affordable energy future for all. To learn more about National Grid Renewables, visit or follow the company on LinkedIn.


National Grid Renewables

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