North Star Solar is a 100MW project near North Branch, MN. Upon completion in 2016 it was the largest solar site in the Midwest, producing enough energy to power 20,000 homes. MNL has been involved with this project from the early stages, working with the developer and Minnesota DNR to create suitable seed mixes for the site comprised entirely of native species. Over 110 acres of diverse pollinator seed mix were planted, creating long-term pollinator-friendly habitat in an area dominated by row-crop agriculture.
Site preparation soil decompaction and weed control occurred in the summer of 2016 followed by seeding that fall. Ongoing vegetation maintenance services include mowing, weed & tree control, and sheep grazing. Since 2020 MNL has managed vegetation at North Star primarily with sheep, deploying the largest solar sheep flock on the largest grazed solar project in the upper Midwest.