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Proposed Rock County solar farm now planned as two projects

LUVERNE — Representatives from Geronimo Energy were in Luverne last week to host an open house to relay updates on a proposed 200-megawatt solar farm in Rock County.

Initially, the project was slated as one large solar farm, but Geronimo now says it will construct two projects — Elk Creek Solar will be up to 80 megawatts in size, while Elk Creek 2 Solar will be up to 120 megawatts in size.

“We have received power offtake interest in 80 megawatts and, as such, have split Elk Creek into two projects,” said Lindsay Smith, director of marketing and communications for Edina-based Geronimo Energy.

It isn’t yet known if the projects will be constructed simultaneously or consecutively, Smith noted. Market and commercial interest will determine the schedule.

The projects are slated for construction in Magnolia and Vienna townships in far eastern Rock County, with the potential to cover approximately 1,600 acres. The company has nearly completed its landowner agreements as they continue to advance the design process.

Smith said Geronimo anticipates beginning the permitting process later this year with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.

“Geronimo is excited to bring these projects to life for the residents of Rock County and to bring positive local economic impact in the form of new tax revenue, job creation, increased local spending and charitable funding,” Smith said.

Construction is anticipated to begin on the first of the two solar projects in 2021.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at The Farm Bleat

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