Minnesota regulators have approved 29 renewable energy projects, predominately featuring solar technologies, to receive $42 million in grants from Xcel Energy’s Renewable Development Fund.
“The fund’s objective is to support development of new renewable energy technologies and renewable energy projects,” said Dave Sparby, president and CEO of Northern States Power Co.-Minnesota, an Xcel Energy company. “With the new state solar statute, this round of grants appropriately focuses on the goal of making more cost-effective solar resources available for Xcel Energy customers.”
Nearly 70 renewable energy proposals were considered for funding. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved Renewable Development Fund grants, which support a portion of project costs, for energy production, research and development, and for block grant distribution to Minnesota colleges and universities
The Renewable Development Fund money comes from Xcel Energy customers. Each year the company transfers $24.5 million to the fund in accordance with state law. An advisory board with representation from Xcel Energy, environmental groups, Xcel Energy customers and the Prairie Island Indian Community makes recommendations to the commission. All selected projects are subject to final approval by the commission.
Including the grants announced today, nearly $95 million has been awarded through the Renewable Development Fund. Owners of energy production projects sell the energy generated to Xcel Energy or use the energy themselves. Currently more than 27 MW of renewable energy is under development from three previous funding cycles.