National Grid Renewables breaks ground on 95MW Minnesota PV portfolio

The sites will both deploy First Solar Series 6 modules (pictured), following a supply agreement between the two companies. Image: National Grid Renewables

National Grid Renewables has begun construction on two solar PV projects in southern Minnesota, US. Both projects are connected to the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) market.

The projects in question are the 45MW Fillmore County Solar Project and the 50MW Louise Solar Project, located in Mower County. Both sites will deploy Series 6 Plus bifacial modules from thin-film Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) US solar manufacturer First Solar, which signed a 2GWdc supply agreement with National Grid Renewables in 2022.

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Both sites have power purchase agreements (PPA) in place with Minnesota-based electric utility Xcel Energy. Construction will be handled by Berry Construction.

“As a company that was founded and still headquartered in Minnesota, it’s both exciting and rewarding to see this growth in renewable energy happening right in our own backyard,” said Joe Ibrahim, vice president of construction and engineering at National Grid Renewables. “These projects will not only provide additional tax revenue and jobs to the local residents, but also extend our commitment to being good neighbors with local and statewide residents.”

National Grid Renewables is the US clean energy development subsidiary of the UK grid operator, National Grid. The company has a number of PV projects operational or under construction in the MISO market. It began construction on the ‘largest’ PV site in Kentucky last December, a 160MW project, and in November it signed PPAs for the 270MW Blevins solar project in Texas.

Xcel energy, the Minnesota utility and co-signatory of the PPAs for National Grid Renewables’ projects, announced plans this month to build 3.6GW of renewables and 600MW of energy storage projects itself across the Midwest. In January it announced plans to retire a coal generation unit in Minnesota and develop 710MW of solar PV and a 100-hour battery as a replacement.

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