Environmental Leadership
June 18, 2024

New Minnesota solar projects to power Xcel Energy customers

Fillmore and Louise sites will support our clean energy transition and Renewable*Connect program

At Xcel Energy, we are committed to providing reliable, safe and cost-effective energy to our customers. By both owning and purchasing power resources, we prioritize the resources with the best costs to help our customers access the best-priced electricity.  

In keeping with this commitment, Xcel Energy is proud to celebrate the launch of two upcoming Minnesota solar installations — the Louise Solar Project located in Mower County and the Fillmore County Solar Project located in Fillmore County. While these are not Xcel Energy's installations, our power purchase agreements for these sites will support our clean energy transition and the business and industry-facing portions of our Renewable*Connect program. 

Xcel Energy has an agreement with Minnesota-based National Grid Renewables (NGR) to purchase 80 megawatts of energy from the solar projects to deliver to its customers throughout the Upper Midwest: 50 megawatts at Louise, enough to power about 37,500 homes, and 30 megawatts at Fillmore, enough to power about 22,500 homes.
“Solar energy — combined with the nation-leading amounts of wind power we’re bringing onto our system, the retirement of our coal plants and the continued operation of our carbon-free nuclear fleet — supports our vision of providing 100% carbon-free electricity to our customers,” said Ryan Long, president of Xcel Energy – Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. “At the same time, these solar installations will help us open up new subscriptions in our popular Renewable*Connect program, which allows participating customers to attribute more of their energy use to renewable sources and support the clean energy transition.”  
Last week, NGR hosted a community event celebrating these two new solar projects located in southern Minnesota. The “Homegrown Minnesolar” event brought together community members, landowners, customers, partners and local officials to celebrate and recognize the positive impact of these projects to the local communities and residents.  

John Marshall, regional vice president, community relations and foundation, Xcel Energy

“We’re incredibly proud of our farmer-founded roots that began right here in Minnesota,” said Blake Nixon, president of National Grid Renewables. “As a Minnesota-headquartered company, today is an exciting day. The Fillmore County and Louise Solar Projects represent our deep commitment to boosting economic vitality in communities throughout rural America in the form of new tax revenue, jobs and charitable funding.” 

Together, Fillmore and Louise will contribute more than $30 million in direct economic impact over the first 20 years of operation. This includes over $4 million in new tax revenue to be distributed to local townships and counties as well as the creation of 300 new construction jobs in the area. Using the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator, the Fillmore and Louise projects also are estimated to offset carbon dioxide emissions annually by a combined 2.4 million metric tons during the first 20 years of operations. This is equivalent to removing 568,400 cars off the road for one year. Additionally, the projects will also avoid a combined 4.4 billion gallons of water over the first 20 years of operations.