Project Development: Avant Energy Announces Commercial Operation at Shakopee Energy Park
MMPA natural-gas-powered plant now producing electricity.
Avant Energy announces that Shakopee Energy Park has achieved commercial operation. The facility, owned and operated by the Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (MMPA), is producing electricity from clean-burning natural gas.
The facility was planned, developed, and implemented by Avant Energy, a Minneapolis-based energy management company and long-time partner with MMPA. Avant also provides operations management for the facility.
The 46-megawatt (MW) facility located in Shakopee, about 20 miles southwest of Minneapolis, uses fuel-efficient reciprocating engines to generate local, reliable power for Shakopee as well as contributing to the overall power supply for 11 other Minnesota municipal utilities.
“This facility demonstrates our commitment to local, efficient power generation,” said Derick Dahlen, Avant Energy President & CEO. “We put a lot of effort into designing an attractive facility that will be a long-term asset to Shakopee.”
“The facility is a great addition to our growing community,” said Shakopee Mayor Bill Mars. “Shakopee Energy Park provides our residents and businesses with long-term efficient, competitive, and reliable electrical supply, which is delivered by Shakopee Public Utilities. In turn, our community’s future economic development and sustainability goals are supported. Public power is stronger than ever with the addition of MMPA’s Shakopee Energy Park.”
Mars noted that MMPA sought out local contractors and businesses for the project’s construction, which meant more local jobs. Shakopee is home to several major new business developments, including large facilities by Amazon and Shutterfly.
John Crooks, Shakopee Public Utilities Manager and Chairman of the MMPA Board of Directors, said, “Our board and management believe in investing in clean, efficient technologies because it is the right thing to do both environmentally and economically.”
Shakopee Energy Park, with its fast-start Wartsila engines, is part of MMPA’s strategy to maintain power supply flexibility. MMPA takes a long-term approach to power supply planning that includes assembling a diversified portfolio containing both conventional and renewable resources. This approach ensures that the Agency is well positioned to continue delivering reliable, competitively-priced power to its members, while creating value for the Agency and its members.
In addition to Shakopee, MMPA member utilities include: Anoka, Arlington, Brownton, Buffalo, Chaska, East Grand Forks, Elk River, Le Sueur, North St. Paul, Olivia, and Winthrop, Minnesota.