Moorhead to Test Solar Power

The City of Moorhead will install a demonstration solar project this summer. The system is expected to be built by the end of September.

From Moorhead Public Service:
After 11 years, Moorhead's wind turbines are going to get some company. In a joint venture between Moorhead Public Service (MPS) and the City of Moorhead, a solar photovoltaic (PV) demonstration project will be constructed this summer between Moorhead's existing wind turbines. The project will consist of three solar arrays that will track the sun and produce up to 10 kilowatts of electrical powerÑenough power to light up a small business or a few homes.

MPS' first renewable energy project, a wind turbine, went on-line in 1999. This solar PV demonstration project now marks an exciting new chapter in promoting renewable energy in Moorhead.. "The solar demonstration project is a continuation of Moorhead Public Service's commitment to renewable energy," said MPS' General Manager Bill Schwandt. "Moorhead was a leader when it began its wind turbine project over ten years ago and now Moorhead is a leader, again, in promoting renewable energy."

The project was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Minnesota Department of Commerce through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This grant will provide up to 40 percent of the total funding for this project, which is expected to cost a total of $99,500.

"This project will demonstrate how homeowners and businesses can engage in their own renewable energy projects," said MPS' Energy Services Manager Dennis Eisenbraun. "This project will also determine the viability of solar PV technology in Moorhead's weather extremes."

This solar demonstration project is scheduled to be fully operational by September 30, 2011. Project management will be performed by MPS' Energy Services Manager Dennis Eisenbraun and the City of Moorhead will act as the fiscal agent for the grant. The primary contractor is Zenergy based in Sebeka, Minnesota.

MPS is a community-owned utility serving the residents of Moorhead, Minnesota, with electricity and water.