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Rochester Public Utilities Valleyhigh Solar Site Receives Minnesota Habitat-Friendly Solar Project Designation

June 10, 2024—Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) in conjunction with West Side Solar Partners LLC proudly announces that the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources has designated the solar installation on Valleyhigh Drive as a Minnesota Habitat Friendly Solar Project. This recognition underscores RPU’s commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship.

The Minnesota Habitat Friendly Solar Standard, established by the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, acknowledges projects that demonstrate significant benefits to local ecosystems, particularly gamebirds, songbirds, and pollinators. The Valleyhigh Drive site has met and exceeded these standards, contributing positively to the region’s biodiversity.

To ensure ongoing compliance with the standard, project owners or managers are required to submit an assessment form for established projects at the end of the third year of vegetation establishment, with subsequent assessments every three years thereafter.

“We are honored to receive this designation from the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources. As we were working on the Valleyhigh Solar project and establishing the 71 acres to accommodate 10 megawatts of solar energy, we also had plans to ensure we were good stewards of the land and environment,” said RPU General Manager Tim McCollough.

For more information about Rochester Public Utilities and its environmental stewardship efforts, please visit

About Rochester Public Utilities

As the municipal utility of Rochester, Minn., for more than 120 years, RPU has provided high-quality and reliable electricity to over 59,000 customers. Water customers number more than 42,000. RPU is governed by a five-member Utility Board and the Rochester City Council. RPU continually investigates innovative technologies to help customers realize the best value from the services they receive. Current initiatives include photovoltaic offerings, wind energy, energy and water-efficient equipment, and electric vehicle charging.