Switching to solar energy
First it was wind. Now it's solar.
A new alternative form of energy is coming on-line across Minnesota as solar gardens are cropping up on the rural landscape, including Dodge County. By later this year, at least three solar gardens will be running throughout the county.
Solar gardens are currently being constructed outside of Mantorville and Claremont. In addition, a third one was completed last year near Dodge Center.
Work began in early November on the Aries Solar Garden along U.S. Hwy. 14 by Claremont. Once the 20-acre garden is operational later this year, it will generate 4.3 megawatts of energy, enough to power 750 average households a year, according to Allen Gleckner, director of energy markets at Fresh Energy, a renewable energy research and advocacy group in St. Paul.
A megawatt is a million watts.
Twelve-foot piles are currently being driven into the ground at the Claremont site. Once the piles are