NORTH BRANCH, Minn. - Work is complete on the largest single solar energy facility in the Midwest and one of the largest in the nation.

The North Star Solar project consists of more than 440,000 solar panels spanning 1,000 acres, or 1 1/2 square miles, in Chisago County. It is expected to produce enough energy to power more than 20,000 homes. It comes with a price tag of about $180 million.

“We’re really excited to see solar become part of our energy mix. If you look around you can see what a tremendous visual this is," said Chris Clark, president of Xcel Energy for Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota.

The massive solar farm was developed by Community Energy Solar and constructed by Swinerton Renewable Energy. Xcel Energy will purchase power as part of a 25-year deal and its plan to deliver a third of its energy from renewables by 2030.

The facility is expected to be up and running in December.