NextEra puts a hold on Timberwolf Solar Project

Published 7:00 pm Tuesday, April 30, 2024

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Solar panels would have gone on land just off  the south edge of Taopi

A proposed solar project by NextEra Energy, originally scheduled to start construction near Taopi in 2025 has been halted.

Naomi Morrison, NextEra Energy Resources spokesperson confirmed last week that the project had been stopped but declined to give a reason for why or if the project would be picked up again at a later date.

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“NextEra Energy Resources has decided not to move forward with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission permit application for the Timberwolf Solar project at this time,” Morrison said. “We remain committed to bringing numerous economic benefits to the community and state of Minnesota with other renewable energy projects.”

Mower County Board of Commissioners Chair John Mueller announced the 100 MW Timberwolf Solar Project had been put on hold during the April 23 board meeting.

He said Monday that the company had told him that they were retaining the land rights they had already acquired, “but they pulled their PUC application.”

He added that it sounded like NextEra would be revisiting their land acquisitions.

The project, which would have consisted of 252,000 panels installed on 3,100 racks over 460 acres of land off of the south edge of Taopi, was supposed to begin construction in May of 2025 with a target of August 2026 set for completion.

The solar array would have been linked to a smaller collector substation that will be constructed alongside the Adams substation next to Highway 56 east of Adams. There would also have been 190 feet of overhead transmission lines between the two sites.

Should the project have been completed, landowners could have seen approximately $2 million yearly and $60 million at the end of the project’s 30-year lifespan.

The project’s final application was submitted to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Oct. 30, 2023.