Geotechnical engineering and environmental services for oil refinery solar farm

About this project

client
Flint Hills Resources Pine Bend, LLC
location
Minnesota
cost
$75 million
completion date
Ongoing

In early 2020, Flint Hills Resources (FHR) decided to improve its energy efficiency by building a $75 million solar farm at their Pine Bend Refinery in Rosemount, Minnesota. They turned to Barr for early strategic consulting on how best to navigate key environmental and social considerations such as land use and zoning; threatened and endangered species; wetlands impacts; construction stormwater management; and restoration planning. We also completed wetland delineations, led protected species surveys, and developed the Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW).

Barr also completed a geotechnical investigation and site evaluation for the project. This included collecting and analyzing soil borings and soil samples for general laboratory testing, standard penetration testing, field electrical resistivity testing, and thermal resistivity testing. We also conducted pile load testing to evaluate the performance of shallow-driven pile foundations that would support the solar panels, including axial tension, axial compression, and lateral load testing at nine locations selected by FHR. We provided design recommendations for the solar panel foundations based on our results, and in addition to our geotechnical investigation, we performed infiltration testing to assist with stormwater basin design.

Key team members

Sarah Johnson

Senior Environmental Consultant

Chris Frerich

Senior Project Engineer

Joel Trinkle

Vice President
Senior Air Quality Consultant

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