Community Power: National Award for Community Friendly Power Plant
MMPA’s Shakopee Energy Park, developed by Avant Energy, named Top Plant.
A newly-opened Minnesota power generation facility has been named a Top Plant by POWER Magazine. The power facility, Shakopee Energy Park, is owned by the Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (MMPA) and was planned, developed and implemented by Avant Energy, the Minneapolis-based energy management company and MMPA’s long-time partner.
Shakopee Energy Park received the 2017 Top Plant Award in the gas category. For decades, POWER Magazine has honored the top performers in the electricity-generating industry with annual awards recognizing innovative design, advanced technology, engineering efficiency and environmental qualities.
POWER Magazine highlighted the facility as “an upstanding citizen.”
Derick Dahlen, president and CEO of MMPA’s management partner Avant Energy, said, “We wanted to make sure Shakopee Energy Park fit aesthetically into the community and wouldn’t cause noise issues for people who live nearby.
“We spent a considerable amount of time designing the building to ensure neighbors wouldn’t hear the gensets. It is quiet, clean-burning and it enhances local electric reliability,” he said.
The 46-Megawatt power plant delivers power directly to the local utility’s distribution system. “Distributed generation projects, when done right, are a strong asset for municipal utilities to compete for load and manage their portfolios,” said Kelsey Dillon, Avant Energy Vice President, Consulting and Development.
Shakopee Energy Park uses five 9.3-MW Wärtsilä fast-start, fuel-efficient reciprocating engines that are powered by natural gas, with Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as a back-up fuel. Dillon noted that by selecting a quick-start technology, the Agency is well-positioned to balance the intermittent nature of wind and solar.
Shakopee Energy Park supports MMPA’s diversified generation portfolio, featuring both conventional and renewable resources. Municipal utility members of MMPA are in Anoka, Arlington, Brownton, Buffalo, Chaska, East Grand Forks, Elk River, Le Sueur, North St. Paul, Olivia, Shakopee and Winthrop, Minn.