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Xcel Energy awards solar project grants for Midway Target, MSP

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Xcel Energy has announced the 20 recipients of $30 million in renewable energy grants, including solar projects at the Midway Target store in St. Paul, Edison High School in Minneapolis and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

The projects, to be paid for through Xcel's Renewable Development Fund that is financed by ratepayers to promote renewable energy, still need approval by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.

Nearly 70 projects applied for the funding, including a solar energy installation at the new ballpark in St. Paul's Lowertown neighborhood. That project was placed on a reserve list in case funding becomes available later.

Of the 20 projects, seven are solar energy installations, which could help Xcel meet the state's new solar energy standard. The Legislature passed a law this year requiring investor owned utilities to produce 1.5 percent of their energy from solar by the end of 2020.

The list of projects Xcel is recommending for renewable energy grants includes:

• 1.18 megawatt solar installation at a Terminal One parking ramp at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

• 907 kilowatt solar park at the School Sisters of Notre Dame in Mankato

• 485 kilowatt solar installation at Edison High School

• 350 kilowatt solar project at Target in the Midway area of St. Paul

• 700 kilowatt solar project at Goodwill Easter Seals corporate headquarters in St. Paul

• 252 kilowatt solar installation at a housing and urban redevelopment project by Aurora St. Anthony Limited LLC

• 150 kilowatt solar installation at the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board building and five smaller installations at other park board property

• 500 kilowatt small wind project in Stearns, Benton and Meeker counties

• 1.1 megawatt biomass project in South St. Paul

• 2 megawatt biomass project in Mondovi, Wis.