Flint Hills Resources LLC (FHR), Wichita, Kan., has started up one of the US’ largest solar installations to help power operations, lower energy costs, improve energy efficiency, and reduce emissions at subsidiary Flint Hills Resources Pine Bend LLC’s (FHR Pine Bend) 335,000-b/d Pine Bend refinery in the city of Rosemount, Dakota County, Minn.
Commissioned on Nov. 9, the new Pine Bend solar project includes more than 120,000 panels, FHR said in a post to its official LinkedIn page.
Upon first announcing the $75-million project in May, FHR said the 45-Mw solar installation—slated to become the US’ largest single-site use of direct solar power—would include at least 100,000 9-14-ft panels across 200 acres of a 300-acre tract of company-owned property immediately adjacent and connecting directly to FHR Pine Bend’s refining complex.
Designed with a peak solar-energy production capacity to satisfy roughly 30% of the refinery’s 135-Mw power needs during optimal conditions, the new solar installation now serves as FHR Pine Bend’s second source of on-site power generation following completion of its combined heat and power (CHP) system in 2019, which currently supplies the refinery about 50 Mw of electricity, or roughly 40% of what is required to power daily operations.
Arizona-based DEPCOM Power Inc.—a fellow subsidiary of FHR’s owner Koch Industries Inc.—delivered engineering, procurement, and construction services for the project.
Alongside supplying most of the transportation fuels used in Minnesota and a large portion of fuels used throughout the Upper Midwest, the FHR Pine Bend refinery also produces asphalt, home heating fuels, as well as raw materials used in a wide range of manufacturing processes