Enel Green Power North America (EGPNA), a subsidiary of an Italy-based utility and renewable developer Enel, starts construction of its largest solar project in the United Stated. The Aurora solar facility in Minnesota will consist of 16 PV plants with a total capacity of 150 MW (100 MW-AC).
The Aurora solar farm is expected to generate 210 million kWh annually, enough to power over 17,000 average U.S. households. The facility will eliminate 150,000 tones of CO2 emissions per year. The utility Xcel Energy has signed a long-term power purchase agreement for the electricity generated by the plant.
According to the company, the design of the solar farm, which consists of multiple small-scale PV plants, delivers a range of benefits, such as a reduction in transmission costs, reduced in-line loss and geographic diversification of generation assets. All 16 plants of the Aurora facility will utilize linear axis tracking devices to increase efficiency.
By maximizing the distributed solar model, Aurora highlights how innovation and design are driving the future of renewables, while providing communities with access to energy that delivers both the biggest possible environmental benefits and the most economic value, said the head of EGPNA Rafael Gonzalez.
The Aurora solar project represents an overall investment of approximately $290 million. It will be partly funded through a capital contribution agreement with State Street Bank and Trust Company2 in the amount of $140 million.
The Aurora solar project is the third PV facility in the U.S. own and operated by EGPNA. The two others are the 61 MW Stillwater geo-PV hybrid plant in Nevada and the 2.4 MW Sheldon Springs Solar plant in Vermont. In total, EGPNAs renewable projects, including solar, wind, geothermal and hydropower plants across the U.S. and Canada, total more than 2.5 GW of installed capacity.