Novel Announces Completion of 10 MW Solar Projects for Connexus Cooperative

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Novel Announces Completion of 10 MW Solar Projects for Connexus Cooperative

Novel Energy Solutions, LLC, a national solar energy company with Midwest roots, announced the completion of solar projects totaling 10MW (AC) for Connexus Energy, Minnesota’s largest electric cooperative. The projects are located in Stanford Township (Isanti County) and Baldwin Township (Sherburne County) and represent a creative and collaborative approach among Novel, REA, Connexus and EDF Renewables.

The Connexus projects were initially won via RFP by EDF Renewables, which successfully completed the development stage of the projects. In a creative and collaborative next step, EDF then partnered with Novel to jointly perform EPC functions and installation using Novel project management, as well as electrical and civil crews. The project will now be owned long term by Novel and their tax equity partner, REA. Cliff Kaehler, Novel’s CEO remarked on the collaboration “We have worked with EDF previously and were excited to do so again. Their reputation combined with the great development work on the projects made for a successful project for them, for us and most importantly, for Connexus.”

The joint collaboration was even possible in the first place due to the programmatic partnership developed between REA and Novel, allowing for a smooth tax equity process without the need for significant project aggregation. Often, the tax equity markets would require total portfolio sizes of 50MW or more, but the collaboration between Novel and REA allows for significantly more projects to be financed than the market would typically bear. Said Mike Mills of REA “working with Novel on this and other projects has been a great experience for both teams, allowing for more projects to be placed in service and significantly lower costs associated with the financing process. That has led to more dollars staying in the community and is something we’re quite proud of.”

All of the electricity generated by the two projects will stay local, serving only Connexus members and simultaneously meeting two goals:

  • Increasing our renewable energy supply; and
  • Lowering power supply costs

Said Brian Burandt, VP of Power Supply & Business Development, “Connexus is happy to have partnered with Novel Energy in developing Sunflower I&II.  These projects have doubled our solar generation and incorporate the highest technologies”.

About Connexus Energy: Based in Ramsey, Minnesota, Connexus Energy is Minnesota’s largest electric cooperative, providing electricity and related products to member residents and businesses. The Connexus Energy Board of Directors, elected by our membership, governs the electric cooperative. They serve more than 138,000 members in portions of Anoka, Chisago, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Sherburne, and Washington counties.

About Novel Energy Solutions, LLC: Based in Minnesota, Novel is a vertically-integrated solar EPC and long-term owner. Founded in 2012 by a 5th Generation Minnesota Family Farmer, Novel began focusing solely on Minnesota and now has ongoing and completed projects from coast-to-coast, having completed over 200MW of solar projects.

About REA: REA is a Missouri-based renewable development and finance company.  REA has over 50 combined years of tax equity financing, 20 years of renewable energy development, and 30 years of property management experience. REA Partners have successfully managed placement of over $2B in tax equity since 2007.   Since REA founding in 2011, REA has expanded into 25 states with over $1B in projects under management.


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