Our Renewable Development Fund, which is financed by our Minnesota and Wisconsin electric customers, promotes the startup, expansion, and attraction of renewable energy projects and companies in our service area. It also stimulates research and development into renewable energy technologies. Both efforts are designed to increase the market penetration of renewable energy resources at reasonable costs.
Project funding to date has been in the form of grants and renewable production incentive payments. Fund grants have been awarded to research universities, nonprofit organizations, commercial businesses, and governmental agencies. Grants support commercial technologies, and research and development. Production incentives are paid to qualifying small wind, bio-gas, solar, and hydroelectric projects operating and generating electricity in Minnesota.
Renewable Development Fund grant awards are recommended by a seven-member advisory board comprising:
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission must approve Renewable Energy Fund grant awards.
To date, our Renewable Development Fund program has committed to funding more than $118 million for projects to identify and develop new or emerging renewable energy sources. Fund grants have been awarded to research universities, nonprofit organizations, commercial businesses, and government agencies.
The fourth cycle of our RDF program funded 26 projects and three higher education research programs total nearly $43 million. Funding was split between research and development projects and energy-productions projects. Projects included wind, biomass, and solar. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission subsequently approved funding in March 2014.
The third cycle funded 22 projects for nearly $23 million. The second cycle of our RDF program, completed in 2005, funded 29 projects for nearly $37 million. Funding was split between research and development projects and energy-production projects. Projects included wind, biomass, solar, hydro, and biofuels. The first cycle of our RDF program, completed in 2001, resulted in the selection of 19 projects that received nearly $16 million in funding.
The Renewable Development Fund money comes from our electric customers in Minnesota and Wisconsin after grant awards are approved by the MPUC. Each year we must set aside money for the fund in accordance with state statute. Owners of energy production projects sell the energy to us or must be located within Minnesota and Wisconsin for self-generation.
2017 RDF Annual Report (PDF)
2016 RDF Annual Report (PDF)
RDF Biennium Report - January 2015 - December 2016 (PDF)
2015 RDF Annual Report (PDF)
RDF Biennium Report January 2013 - December 2014 (PDF)
RDF Fourth Cycle Report (PDF)
RDF Biennium Report - January 2007 - December 2008 (PDF)
RDF Biennium Report - January 2009 - December 2010 (PDF)
RDF Biennium Report - January 2011 - December 2012 (PDF)
Have questions about the Renewable Development Fund? Contact us.
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