National Grid Renewables has announced the commencement of construction of two solar projects in Southern Minnesota, US. 

The two projects comprise the 45MW Fillmore County Solar project and a 50MW Louise Solar project. 

Berry Construction Company will undertake the construction of both solar projects, employing First Solar-manufactured Series 6 Plus bifacial solar modules. 

Berry Construction Company Renewable Energy Division president Dean Bryant said: “We are now in our fifth year of designing and building solar power projects in Minnesota with National Grid Renewables, and we are excited to begin construction on the Fillmore and Louise projects.” 

Located within the Midcontinent Independent System Operator market, both the Fillmore and Louise solar projects have secured power purchase agreements with Xcel Energy.  

Xcel Energy, headquartered in Minnesota, is an electricity and natural gas company that aims to reduce carbon emissions while maintaining reliable and affordable energy for its customers.  

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It anticipates providing 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050. 

Xcel Minnesota planning and policy regional vice-president Bria Shea said: “As leaders in the clean energy transition, we are dedicated to expanding the role of carbon-free electricity in the energy mix we provide to our Minnesota customers.” 

The two solar projects are expected to generate more than $30m in direct economic impact within their first two decades of operation.  

This includes more than $4m in new tax revenue for local townships and counties, and the creation of 300 new construction jobs, bolstering the local job market. 

In addition, the projects are anticipated to contribute a combined $475,000 via dedicated project charitable funds. 

In 2021, National Grid Renewables commenced construction on the 200MW Prairie Wolf solar project in Coles County, Illinois, US.