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Here comes the sun: Minnesota's largest solar energy project gets green light

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100 million watts of sun-generated electricity will soon light up bulbs and TV screens across Minnesota.

The state's Public Utilities Commission has approved Geronimo Energy's plan to build large solar arrays in 16 counties, stretching from the southwestern tip of Minnesota through the Twin Cities to the Wisconsin border.

The Star Tribune describes it as the state's largest solar energy project.

The paper says the solar power will be sold to Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy, which already serves 1.2 million electric customers.

According to Edina-based Geronimo, the price tag for the solar arrays is somewhere in the neighborhood of $250 million, which will pay for about 25 total sites.

That's a lot of dollars, but according to the company's project page, the returns are significant – tax revenues are expected to total around $240,000 each year.

Another benefit? The arrays are said to be eco-friendly.

The company says the installations will "protect the environment" while providing power to Xcel's grid efficiently and cost-effectively.

Geronimo projects that construction will finish in 2016.

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