The Midcontinent ISO has integrated a solar farm into its wholesale market for the first time.
The 100-MW North Star solar farm outside of Minneapolis is the largest solar facility in the Midwest and will sell its output to Xcel Energy.
- Several large solar farms have been built in the MISO region, but North Star is the first that can trade its electrical output in the wholesale energy market.
MISO has taken a lot of wind power into its system – much to the chagrin of some nuclear plant operators – but not much solar power has shown up.
The North Star is the first solar farm to be integrated into MISO's markets, rather than simply serving a utility PPA or delivering power to a particular end user.
MISO says it took months of planning and testing to ensure the smooth integration of solar power into its day-ahead and real-time markets.
“MISO is excited to have the first solar farm participating in our energy markets,” said Todd Ramey, MISO vice-president of system operations, said in a statement. “MISO remains committed to supporting our members in meeting their policy goals through reliable and efficient markets. This project furthers the integration of renewable resources into our markets.”
The solar power from the North Star plant will help Xcel Energy meet its goal of delivering more than 60% carbon free energy for its customers by 2030.
MISO says Energy and Meteo, the same firm MISO uses for its wind power forecasting, is used to forecast the facility’s solar power output.
The solar farm was originally developed by Community Energy Solar. The property is now managed by D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments and owned by the D.E. Shaw group.