Rural Wind Energy Revolving Loan

June 22, 2009


The purpose of the Rural Wind Energy Revolving Loan is to assist the funding of wind energy feasibility and transmission interconnection studies for community-based energy developments (C-BEDs). The program will be administered by the Minnesota Department of Commerce Office of Energy Security (OES) in cooperation with the Southwest Initiative Foundation. It will provide loans of up to $100,000 per project with an annual interest rate of 1.5%. Loans must be paid back within 30 days of a project beginning commercial operation or within two years of the date the loan is issued, whichever is sooner. To be eligible for a loan, a project must be owned and structured according to C-BED criteria defined by Minn. Stat. § 216B.1612 and amended by 2007 S.F. 145, Article 4. These criteria are summarized below.
Qualifying Owners:

  • a Minnesota resident;
  • a limited liability company that is organized under chapter 322B and that is made up of members who are Minnesota residents;
  • a Minnesota nonprofit organization organized under chapter 317A;
  • a Minnesota cooperative association organized under chapter 308A or 308B, including a rural electric cooperative association or a generation and transmission cooperative on behalf of and at the request of a member distribution utility;
  • a Minnesota political subdivision or local government including, but not limited to, a municipal electric utility or a municipal power agency on behalf of and at the request of a member distribution utility, a county, statutory or home rule charter city, town, school district, or public or private higher education institution or any other local or regional governmental organization such as a board, commission, or association;
  • a tribal council
In addition, in order for a project to be considered community-based:
  • 51% of the revenues from the power purchase agreement must flow to Minnesota-based owners and other local entities
  • No single wind project investor can own more than 15 percent of a project consisting of more than two turbines, except when the owner is a qualifying public entity that is not a municipal utility
  • All owners of property traversed by transmission lines serving the project must be given the opportunity to invest
  • The project must have a resolution of support adopted by the county board of each county in which the project is to be located or in the case of a project located within the boundaries of a reservation, the tribal council for that reservation
Prior to receiving a loan, project owners must also first complete an interconnection feasibility study that indicates the project can be interconnected with system upgrades of less than 10% of the estimated project cost and must either obtain a power purchase agreement (PPA) with an electric utility or supply proof of serious consideration of such an agreement. Contact the Minnesota Energy Information Center for further information and application details.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Financial Incentive
State: Minnesota
Incentive Type: Loan Program
Web Site:
Administrator: Minnesota Department of Commerce
Start Date: 05/26/2007
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Wind (All)
Maximum Loan: $100,000 for any single project or entity
Loan Term: Annual interest rate of 1.5%;
Repayment must be made within 30 days of project operation or two years of the date the loan is issued, whichever is sooner.


Name: S.F. 2096 Article 2, Section 28
Date Enacted: 05/07/2007
Effective Date: 05/07/2007
Name: Minn. Stat. § 216B.1612
Name: S.F. 145, Article 4
Date Enacted: 05/25/2007
Effective Date: 05/26/2007


Name: Wind Loan Program
Organization: Southwest Initiative Foundation
Address: 15 3rd Avenue NW
Hutchinson MN 55350
Phone: (800) 594-9480

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.