Project Development: Shakopee Energy Park Breaks Ground
April 20, 2016 – Shakopee Energy Park, a 46MW power facility being built by the Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (MMPA), will soon be rising in the Minneapolis suburb of Shakopee. The facility is part of MMPA’s strategy of distributed power generation.
MMPA has broken ground on the six-acre site and expects the facility, fueled by natural gas, to be operational next year. MMPA is the wholesale power supplier to Shakopee Public Utilities, as well as 11 other municipal member communities.
MMPA’s management partner, Avant Energy of Minneapolis, is managing the facility’s design and construction.
“MMPA is committed to adding local, efficient resources to the Agency’s generation portfolio,” said Avant Energy’s Vice President of Consulting and Development, Kelsey Dillon.
“The Agency sees significant advantages to distributed generation, including local interconnection to avoid high voltage transmission, increased local reliability of supply and supporting business development in our member communities,” Dillon said.
John Crooks, Shakopee Public Utilities Manager and MMPA board member, said his community is enthusiastic about the project.
“We very much like having this generating facility in Shakopee because we see great advantage in having local production and distribution,” Crooks said. “We’re a growing community and we’re pleased to have this opportunity to offer increased electric reliability to our customers.”
Recent large, high-profile additions to Shakopee’s business base include Amazon and Shutterfly.
Crooks added that hot water recovered from the natural gas-fired reciprocating engines will be another important economic development tool for the Shakopee area. Further, he said, the facility will support the MMPA mission to provide competitively-priced, reliable power to its customers.
Dillon said Shakopee Energy Park will become an important component of MMPA’s diversified portfolio of generation resources in Minnesota, which includes Faribault Energy Park, fueled by natural gas, Oak Glen Wind Farm near Blooming Prairie and the Hometown BioEnergy facility in Le Sueur, fueled by food processing and agricultural waste.
“MMPA is committed to being a good neighbor in host communities,” Crooks said. “We are excited that in addition to power generation, the facility will offer energy education for students and Shakopee residents – providing a community asset for years to come.”