The Minnesota Public Utilities Commissioner has approved the Minnesota Power solar complex planned for Camp Ripley that will produce enough electricity to power 2,000 homes.

The PUC gave its expected approval Thursday to the Duluth-based utility's planned 10-megawatt project on the military base in central Minnesota.

The $30 million project, first reported in the News Tribune in August 2014, will help Minnesota Power move toward its state-mandated solar energy requirement of producing 1.5 percent of its electricity from solar sources by 2020.

Minnesota Power's first utility-scale solar array will be built on about 80 acres of underutilized property at the National Guard's 53,000-acre training facility near Little Falls. The project will include 120,000 photovoltaic panels manufactured by Ohio-based First Solar.