Community Solar Proposal Under Consideration in Southwest Minnesota

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Big Wolf LLC recently submitted a new community solar proposal to the Lyon County, MN commissioners. The project is planned to serve residents of Balaton, a small town of 630 people in southwest Minnesota. According to Big Wolf’s proposal, the project would consist of upwards of 4,000 photovoltaic panels developed on eight acres. Upon completion, they would generate 1-megawatt of power or enough to power up to 700 homes. 

During its presentation to the Lyon County Board, Big Wolf announced its plans to work with Xcel Energy’s Solar Rewards Community program. Energy generated from the proposed community solar project would be sold to Xcel’s community solar program, which is the largest in the nation. With that energy, Xcel can provide it to customers in the Balaton region.

With community solar projects, participants subscribe to a unit of energy associated with the solar facility. They receive energy from that unit and either pay a reduced rate on electricity or see a credit on their monthly utility bill. According to Xcel Energy, subscribers will benefit from the clean solar energy and receive the credit. 

Though Big Wolf is still waiting on an answer for its community solar proposal, Lyon County’s planning and zoning staff agreed that the commissioner board should move forward with the project. Lyon County commissioners still have to officially approve the proposal before Big Wolf can commence construction.

Xcel Energy has a growing portfolio of renewable energy projects spanning Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin. Its projects, including the Solar Rewards Community program, are intended to make renewable, clean energy more accessible to communities, small businesses, and the nation’s thriving industries. According to the company’s plan, it aims to reduce carbon emissions by more than 80% over the next ten years. Projects like Big Wolf’s community solar proposal allows the energy company to achieve its long-term goal. 



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