Dakota Electric Solar

We continue to research renewable energy and are adding more to our generation mix.

Dakota Solar 2 — Hastings Solar Array

Dakota Electric Association members are now receiving electricity from a new 1-megawatt (MW) solar facility built specifically for the cooperative’s member-owners. The solar array is located along Hwy. 316 south of Hastings.

Unlike a solar garden where members can purchase and own their own panels, this is a utility-scale project. SoCore Energy built and owns the solar facility on behalf of Great River Energy. Through a power purchase contract with Great River Energy, Dakota Electric purchases all the solar output for delivery to its member-owners. The power purchased from this project reduces the amount of electricity Dakota Electric will need to purchase from non-renewable generation sources and provides a hedge for future wholesale power costs.

Solar Array Quick Facts

  • Total panels = 3,906
  • Land area is just over five acres.
  • 310 watts per panel
  • Total capacity is 1 MW (1.2 MW DC)
  • Panels should produce more than 1.5 million kWh of electricity annually.
  • Will produce enough energy to power about 150 average homes.
  • Panels are mounted at a 25-degree angle facing south.
  • Panels have a 25-year life expectancy.
  • The area around the solar panels will be planted with pollinator-friendly plans and will provide habitat for bees and other pollinators.

Dakota Solar 1 — Farmington Solar Array

Great River Energy, Dakota Electric’s wholesale power supplier, installed an 18-kW AC solar array in Farmington, located on the southeast corner of Highway 50 and Denmark Avenue. This project is a joint effort by Great River Energy and Dakota Electric to understand how solar performs and what it takes to plan, finance and execute a solar project.

View GRE’s solar production data tool*
*Data is for educational purposes only.

Image of solar panels