How Can I Fund Interconnection & Wind Studies for My C-BED Project?

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QUESTION

Are any programs available to fund transmission interconnection studies and wind studies for C-BED projects?

ANSWER

Yes, the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Office of Energy Security has a Rural Wind Energy Development Revolving Loan Fund. The purpose of the Rural Wind Energy Development Revolving Loan program is to provide financial assistance to owners of eligible community-based wind energy projects for wind studies and transmission interconnection studies.

Read on to learn more!

Rural Wind Energy Development Revolving Loan Fund

 
Loan proceeds must be used to fund wind studies and transmission interconnection studies only.

Eligible loan applicants must:

  • Complete an adequate interconnection feasibility study that indicates the wind project may be interconnected to the transmission system with system upgrades of less than ten percent of the estimated total project costs;
  • Sign a power purchase agreement with an electric utility or provide evidence that the project is under serious consideration for a power purchase agreement; and
  • Qualify for status as a community-based energy development (C-BED) project under Minn. Stat. §216B.1612 and commit to obtaining and maintaining C-BED status.

Loan Details: The interest rate for loans shall be 1.5 percent per annum. Loans may not exceed $100,000 to any one project or entity. Loans must be repaid upon the earlier of: (i) thirty days after commercial operation of the wind project; or (ii) two years after the date the loan was issued. Loans will be awarded to eligible applicants on a first-come, first-served basis so long as the Minnesota Office of Energy Security (OES) determines adequate funds are available.

Process: Funds will only be released following the proper execution of all applicable loan agreement documents and satisfaction of other conditions set forth in the program’s policy or otherwise required by the OES. Loan proceeds will be dispersed within ten days after the applicant submits a payment request demonstrating a payment due to the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO).

Interested? Learn more: For additional information on the program, please contact the Southwest Initiative Foundation at windloan@swifoundation.org (preferred method) or via phone at 800-594-9480.

 
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Minnesota Department of Commerce University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships and Extension Great Plains Institute Southwest Regional Development Commission