COLLEGEVILLE -- Construction is underway to expand the Abbey Solar Farm at St. John's University, with more solar panels being added to the current array.

Mark Osendorf, a Stearns County native, is the Manager of Community Relations for Xcel Energy.

Osendorf says Xcel is very interested in adding solar power to its "energy portfolio."

St. John's efforts to become more ecologically responsible is part of the reason Xcel teamed up with them for this solar farm.

Over 1,000 feet of fixed panels being added will complement the existing panels at the solar farm that tilt in order to track the sun in its daily path.

Osendorf says that officials, as well as students, are interested to compare and contrast the two styles (fixed and tracking) to determine the electricity generated as well as any cost advantages.

Osendorf says the future of solar power is a bright one (pun intended).

St. John's officials estimate that the construction should be finished in about 10 days.

Photo by Isaac Schweer, WJON