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Company eyeing Yellow Medicine County in western Minnesota for large solar farm

A company based in Boulder, Colorado, is exploring the possibility of developing a 153-megawatt solar farm to connect to the Hazel Creek substation near Granite Falls, Minnesota.

Solar panels
Scout Clean Energy is in the initial stages of contacting landowners around the Hazel Creek substation near Granite Falls for a possible 153-megawatt solar farm.
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Editor's note: This story has been updated since original publication to correct the name of the company proposing the solar farm, Scout Clean Energy LLC of Boulder, Colorado.

GRANITE FALLS — A solar energy company headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, is exploring the possibility of constructing a large solar farm in Yellow Medicine County.

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Scout Clean Energy LLC is in the initial stages of contacting landowners around the Hazel Creek substation near Granite Falls for a possible 153-megawatt solar farm, according to information provided to the Yellow Medicine County Board of Commissioners on Nov. 22.

Jolene Johnson, planning and zoning coordinator, told the commissioners that the firm believes it could need as much as 1,300 to 1,500 acres for the solar farm.

The company will be meeting with landowners and local township officials to discuss its plans. It has about 500 acres leased at this point, she told the commissioners.

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Johnson emphasized that the project is in its very early stages. The company is aiming for 2028 construction.

She said that due to its size, the project would likely need to go through a permitting process with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.

The solar farm would provide power to the grid by connecting to the Hazel Creek substation, which was developed as part of the CapX2020 project. The substation is part of a transmission line that was built as part of a proposal to help meet infrastructure needs and improve the ability to transmit electricity generated by wind farms in western Minnesota and eastern South Dakota to the Twin Cities area.

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Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoors reporter for the West Central Tribune.
He has been a reporter with the West Central Tribune since 1993.

Cherveny can be reached via email at tcherveny@wctrib.com or by phone at 320-214-4335.
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