Superior Water, Light and Power celebrates completion of community solar garden

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In a step forward for locally generated renewable energy in Superior, Superior Water, Light, and Power celebrated the completion of the community’s first ever solar garden on Wednesday.

In the next weeks, the garden will begin generating enough power for about 115 homes.

The idea for the community garden came in 2015, and as you can image, 2020 slowed things down.

That’s why SWL&P’s Joscelyn Skandel says the ribbon cutting is a celebration, “We’re really proud of the company, the city, and the team for getting behind this project and seeing it through.”

The ALLETE owned subsidiary says the project has been well received by the community. Customers had the option to buy shares in the solar garden, and the project is fully subscribed with 80 customers. The largest subscribers are Essentia Health, National Bank of Commerce, Kari Toyota, the City of Superior, and Charter Next Generation.

“We wouldn’t be here today without our customers who subscribed to a piece of the sun,” said Rob Sandstrom, SWL&P president.

“You are part of a project that brought together customers, labor partners and others to bring locally generated renewable energy to our community.

The project relied on local labor and materials. The 1,300 panels for Superior Solar were manufactured by Helene in Mountain Iron, Minnesota, and Hunt Electric was the project contractor. About 10 jobs were created at peak of construction

“This project is a very visible reminder of the clean-energy transition gaining momentum across the nation–a transition ALLETE and its companies are proud to be leading,” said ALLETE Chair and CEO Bethany Owen.

“I’m so proud of the Superior Water, Light and Power team for bringing their vision for locally generated renewable energy to life. This solar garden is yet another example of our commitment not only to the climate – but also to our customers and the Superior community.