The city-owned industrial park in Mankato, MN, is the site of a planned community solar park. The 80-acre park had sat for nearly 24 years and faced multiple development failures before solar developers stepped in to use the land for renewable resources. The most recent acquisition was a 10-acre parcel optioned by Impact Power Solutions. Should the acquisition go through, the entire 80-acre lot will become one large community solar garden.
Impact Power Solutions has been offered the option to purchase a 10-acre parcel for $500,000. The sale is pending an agreement with Xcel Energy. If the agreement is approved, Impact will move forward with building a garden to further serve the local residents and underserved communities.
The Impact Solar planned installation is only a fraction of the solar sites at the 80-acre industrial park. With the approval of this latest development, the entire stretch of land would become one big community solar park. Almost 70 acres of the unused industrial park has already been used for community solar installations that provide cost-saving power to low- and middle-income households.
Along with the Mankato industrial park solar facility, Impact Solar is pursuing conditional-use permits for additional solar installations in Lime Township. A $1,000 purchase option between Impact and Xcel allows the solar developer 18 months to complete the agreement. These facilities would include just under 4,000 panels that would generate 1-MW of electricity. If the application is approved, Impact hopes to begin construction as early as April 2021.
Xcel would remain involved in the operations of both facilities and would purchase the electricity generated by the photovoltaic array. According to Impact Solar, Xcel is a vital part of turning the site into a community solar facility. For it to be possible, Xcel will need to provide engineers to create a viable system.