The US state of Minnesota’s newest alternative energy scheme, which uses community solar gardens with grid-connected subscribers, has secured a deal with Ecolab Inc. The solar gardens will deliver some 40 MW of electricity to Minnesota’s local grid, and as a subscriber, Ecolab will offset the electricity it purchases for its corporate and research, development and engineering campuses in Minnesota.
SunEdison, Inc will develop the solar gardens in Dakota County, where Ecolab’s Schuman campus is located, under the Xcel Energy Solar Rewards Community Program which launched in December 2014 in Minnesota.
Pending approval, construction is planned to begin at the end of 2015, with completion projected in 2016. TerraForm Power, Inc. will own and operate the gardens.
‘Supporting SunEdison’s solar garden project enables us to lock in electricity rates for the next 25 years and promote solar energy,’ said Alex Blanco, executive vice president and chief supply chain officer at Ecolab.
Raj Rajan, vice president and global sustainability technical leader at Ecolab, said: ‘Our 25-year involvement in the programme will generate more than 552 million kWh of zero-emission electricity’.