Minnesota Is Home to the First Wind-Solar Hybrid Project in the Country

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Solar is on the rise in the U.S and is becoming more appealing to corporations and consumers every day. Energy corporations around the country are looking to find a more efficient and cost-effective way to produce renewable energy. As the cost of solar has dropped, the appeal of adding it to wind installation projects has grown. A western Minnesota wind-solar hybrid project is among the first of its kind in the country.


What is a Wind-Solar Hybrid Project?

By paring wind and solar projects on the same site, it can cut equipment costs while ramping up output. Hybrid projects give an opportunity to increase capacity because wind turbines operate at 50-55% capacity, while solar sits at 15% capacity. When combining the projects on the same site, the hybrid reaches 60 to 70% capacity. Combining wind and solar projects on the same site will reduce equipment costs and cost less than most transmission and generation providers.

Hybrid Project in Minnesota

Juhl Energy, GE Renewable Energy and Bank of America are partnering to begin an integrated solar-wind hybrid power generation project. This project will have a 2-megawatt turbine and 500-kilowatt solar installation and will use GE’s Wind Integrated Solar Energy technology platform. Lake Region CEO Tim Thompson said the project lowers costs to ratepayers and “gives us a local renewable energy source with the wind and solar production that will tie into the local distribution grid we already own.”

The Future of Wind-Solar Hybrid

Wind solar hybrid projects are predicted to increase 4% in the U.S., becoming a $1.5 billion global market. The founder of Juhl Energy wants to see larger hybrids of 5 MW of wind and 1 MW of solar. “Distributed and utility-scale hybrids will become more common,” Soholt said. “Wind and solar pair well together because solar produces during the day and wind is more of a nighttime source. And with storage you have a great project to offer utilities.”

How Intersect Can Help

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