Our wind-solar hybrid project, located in Trondhjem Township, consists of a single 2.3-megawatt turbine and a 500-kilowatt solar array that is interconnected directly into a distribution feeder of the rural Erhard Substation. This innovative project harnesses energy from both wind and solar. We anticipate that this energy source will save approximately $200,000 per year in purchased wholesale energy costs. All of the output is utilized by local Lake Region members.
The hybrid design means that power can be produced when it is most needed by Lake Region. The solar output will provide summer peak energy and the wind will provide winter peak energy. The facility uses new hybrid technology developed by General Electric (GE) to economically blend clean, renewable energy into the distribution power grid at a lower cost, plus enhancing system reliability.
The project is owned by a subsidiary of Juhl Energy that includes investors from across Minnesota and the Midwest. As purchaser of the energy output, Lake Region Electric Cooperative incurred no new debt and is not responsible for operating costs for the project. This is a distinct advantage for our cooperative. The 2 MW community-based hybrid facility provides clean, renewable energy that is utilized locally by Lake Region members. The energy, transmission, and capacity cost savings attributable to purchasing energy from the community-based project helps to provide rate stability, benefiting all cooperative members.