North Star Solar

Size: 130 MW (DC) / 100 MW (AC)

Location: Chisago County, MN

Distinguishing Features

  • Community Energy Solar is proposing to build a 100-megawatt solar energy facility and an associated one-mile long, 115-kilovolt transmission line.
  • The solar facility and transmission line are proposed to be located on approximately 800 acres of agricultural land within the city of North Branch and Lent and Sunrise townships in Chisago County, Minnesota.
  • The North Star Solar project is a solution to the growing demand for solar energy due to a new state law (Minn. Stat. 216B.1691) requiring public utilities to produce at least 1.5 percent of retail electricity sales from solar energy by 2020.
  • Significant electrical transmission infrastructure already exists in Chisago County, which would allow the project to generate low-cost and efficient solar energy for Minnesota ratepayers.
  • Total engineering, procurement and construction costs for this project are estimated to be about $180 million. Before the project can proceed, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission must approve site and route permits. This process is expected to be complete by January 2016.
  • Opportunities for public input are available through the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. (Please see and docket number 15-33 for full details.)
  • If approved, the North Star Solar project would become the largest solar energy facility in the Midwest.