New Solar Array at Brainerd Airport Now Fully Operational
Brainerd Public Utilities has announced that the new solar array at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport is now fully operational.
The array is owned and operated by AEP OnSite Partners and will provide energy to BPU for the next 30 years under a power purchase agreement.
The project began nearly four years ago with the goal of meeting state requirements of using alternate sources of energy other than fossil fuels. It will also help with capacity issues and power roughly 1,500 of the approximately 8,500 electric customers in BPU’s service territory.
Even with the new solar farm up and running, BPU is still working on providing more renewable energy to the area.
“We are now developing a smaller solar farm right behind our service center, about 1/4 the size of what we did at the airport, so we are working with the city of Baxter on all the permitting, and so construction will begin this fall on that one,” said Todd Wicklund, Brainerd Public Utilities Director. “Between the two solar farms … and the city owning the hydro facility, [it’s] about 16, 17% of our total energy needs for the city of Brainerd.”
There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 27 at 12:30 p.m. at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport to celebrate the operation of the solar array.