ALBANY -- A large Minnesota solar farm project which has been in the works since 2013 is coming online. The Aurora Solar project consists of 16 sites spread across the state, including two solar fields in Stearns County.

Enel Green Power North America owns Aurora Solar. Spokesman Jacob Fehlen says Albany is a 100-acre site and Paynesville's is 87 acres in size.  Each solar field will produce an estimated 15.2 megawatts of electricity.

Fehlen says Albany is up and running and Paynesville will go online in a matter of months.  Currently, six of the 16 sites are energized with the remaining solar fields expected to come online by the middle of 2017.  Other sites are located in various areas near the Twin Cities and parts of greater Minnesota.

The $290,000,000 project was initially developed by Geronimo Energy of Edina and then sold to Enel Green Power of Andover, Massachusetts. The electricity is distributed by Xcel Energy and serves the customers nearest the solar fields.

When all 16 sites are energized, the 150-megawatt solar project will produce enough energy to power 17,000 homes. The Albany and Paynesville sites alone are expected to provide enough electricity to power 2,700 homes.