PSC approved first utility scale 200 MW PV farm in coal state North Dakota

PSC commissioners Brian Kroshus, Chairman (center), Julie Fedorchak (left), Randy Christmann (right)

Solar power made a breakthrough in North Dakota, USA: The Public Service Commission (PSC) voted 2 to 1 to approve the first commercial solar farm in the state. Harmony Solar ND LLC, part of Geronimo Energy, will build a 200 MW solar farm in Harmony Township, Cass County, west of Fargo near the state’s eastern border with Minnesota. Construction will start later this year. The $320 million project is expected to come online by the end of 2020. Technical details were not disclosed.
»While there is a limited amount of rooftop solar in the state, there are no existing utility-scale commercial solar farms,« said the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). The Solar Energy Industries Association ranks North Dakota last in the nation for solar power as of the third quarter of 2018, with less than 1 MW of solar energy installed in the state. In 2017 about 66 percent of North Dakota’s net electricity generation came from coal, more than 25 percent came from wind, while 5 percent came from conventional hydroelectric power, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

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