Dakota Electric Solar
We continue to research renewable energy and are adding more to our generation mix.
Dakota Electric Association members are now receiving electricity from a new 1-megawatt (MW) solar facility built specifically for the cooperative’s member-owners. The solar array is located along Hwy. 316 south of Hastings.
Unlike a solar garden where members can purchase and own their own panels, this is a utility-scale project. SoCore Energy built and owns the solar facility on behalf of Great River Energy. Through a power purchase contract with Great River Energy, Dakota Electric purchases all the solar output for delivery to its member-owners. The power purchased from this project reduces the amount of electricity Dakota Electric will need to purchase from non-renewable generation sources and provides a hedge for future wholesale power costs.
Solar Array Quick Facts
- Total panels = 3,906
- Land area is just over five acres.
- 310 watts per panel
- Total capacity is 1 MW (1.2 MW DC)
- Panels should produce more than 1.5 million kWh of electricity annually.
- Will produce enough energy to power about 150 average homes.
- Panels are mounted at a 25-degree angle facing south.
- Panels have a 25-year life expectancy.
- The area around the solar panels will be planted with pollinator-friendly plants and will provide habitat for bees and other pollinators.
Great River Energy, Dakota Electric’s wholesale power supplier, installed an 18-kW AC solar array in Farmington, located on the southeast corner of Highway 50 and Denmark Avenue. This project is a joint effort by Great River Energy and Dakota Electric to understand how solar performs and what it takes to plan, finance and execute a solar project.
View GRE’s solar production data tool*
*Data is for educational purposes only.