Community Owned

Minnesota legislator wants state to encourage small, locally-owned energy projects

 

Article by: H.J. CUMMINS , Star Tribune

January 15, 2008

A legislator's plan to encourage small, local energy projects in Minnesota borrows from Germany's experience.

 

A Northfield legislator wants Minnesota to take a more European approach to renewable energy.

Rep. David Bly, DFL-Northfield, is expected to announce Thursday that he'll sponsor a bill to encourage local ownership of small energy projects. The measure would be a counterpoint to other tax incentives, including a federal production tax credit, that typically benefit large, corporate investors.

The proposed model, known as "feed-in tariffs," has worked in countries such as Germany, increasing both renewable-energy capacity and the role of small owners. Other states looking at feed-in tariffs include Michigan and California, although no state yet has such a program.

The proposal raises two issues likely to surface along with other renewable energy bills expected in the 2008 legislative session: What are the relative roles of government and the free market, and if clean energy costs more, who should pay that cost?....

 

Click here to read the article

"Local ownership urged for energy projects"

on the Star Tribune website.

December 2007 Farm Bill Update

With the Energy Bill being signed this week void of a national Renewable Energy Standard, many Americans are wondering how other policy can help support renewable energy development in rural America. One answer is the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP, previously called Section 9006 of the Farm Bill), which provides grants and loan guarantees to farmers, ranchers and rural, small businesses for renewable energy development and energy efficiency improvements.

Among the renewable energy provisions found in the Senate version of the farm bill is $260 million over five years for the Rural Energy for America Program. The 2002 Farm Bill, and REAP within it, is set to expire this year, but the House-Senate conference committee working on the bill hopes to extend the bill through March 15th, 2008 in order to provide continuous funding for the programs covered in the 2002 bill until agreements can be reached and passed.

Click here to read a more in depth update from the 25x'25 coalition.

Community Wind Energy 2008

April 14-16, 2008
Empire State Plaza Convention Center
Albany, New York

Windustry hosted more than 450 people in Albany, NY for the premier national conference bringing economic development, agriculture and wind energy together to advance opportunities for locally-owned clean energy production. We shared experiences and information to harness the growing momentum for new models, new policies and new projects.

Topic: 
Ownership: 

Save the Date! Windustry's 2008 Community Wind Conference is Set for April 14-16, 2008

Join Windustry in Albany, NY for the premier national conference bringing agriculture and wind energy together to advance opportunities for locally-owned clean energy production and rural economic development. We will share experiences and information to harness the growing momentum for new models, new policies and new projects.

Click here to go to the official conference web page!

What is Community Wind? Community wind energy projects come in many shapes and sizes, all sharing significant elements of local ownership and participation (public or private). This new economic opportunity for rural communities can build support for renewable energy in general while maximizing the local economic benefits of wind energy development.

What to expect at Community Wind Energy 2008:

  • See a snapshot of what community wind and other clean energy can mean in your community.
  • Hear from wind experts, agricultural producers, tribes, and rural landowners who have developed community wind projects.
  • Meet potential project financers.
  • Engage in discussions about all sizes of wind turbines—from home and farm scale machines to mid-size and commercial-scale machines.
  • Shop the extensive wind industry exhibit floor.
  • Gather to advance the dialogue on what’s next for community wind!

Who will attend?
Rural landowners, elected officials, farmers, ranchers, business leaders, tribal representatives, economic development professionals, lenders, bankers, city planners, and community leaders will be in attendance.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is a partnering sponsor of this event.

For more information, contact Windustry:

Click the link below to download a printable version of this flyer.

Click here to sign up for our email list if you'd like to receive updates as they're available!

Wind Project Financing Structures: A Review & Comparative Analysis

This report from Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory was released in September, 2007. The report, titled "Wind Project Financing Structures: A Review & Comparative Analysis," was authored by John Harper (Birch Tree Capital, LLC), Matt Karcher (Deacon Harbor Financial, L.P.), and Mark Bolinger (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), and was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Wind & Hydropower Technologies Program.

The rapid expansion in the U.S. wind power industry over the past few years has required the mobilization of a tremendous amount of capital. In 2007 alone, for example, an estimated $6 billion will be invested in new wind projects in the U.S. To attract this kind of capital, the wind power sector has, in recent years, developed multiple financing structures to manage project risk and allocate Federal tax incentives to those entities that can use them most efficiently. These structures are the underlying focus of this report.

Specifically, the purpose of this report is three-fold: (1) to survey recent trends in the financing of utility-scale wind projects in the United States, (2) to describe in some detail the seven principal financing structures through which most utility-scale wind projects (excluding utility-owned projects) have been financed from 1999 to the present, and (3) to help understand the impact of these seven structures on the levelized cost of energy from wind power.

The seven structures -- which range from simple balance-sheet finance to several varieties of all-equity partnership "flip" structures to leveraged structures -- feature varying combinations of equity capital from project developers and third-party tax-oriented investors, and in some cases commercial debt. Their origins stem from variations in the financial capacity and business objectives of wind project developers, coupled with the investment risk tolerance and objectives of the tax-oriented investors and debt providers.

The full report (including an executive summary) can be downloaded from:
http://eetd.lbl.gov/ea/emp/reports/63434.pdf

In addition, a high-level PowerPoint summary of the document is available at:
http://eetd.lbl.gov/ea/emp/reports/63434-ppt.pdf

[Text of this item is adapted with minor changes from from a 09/2007 LBNL press release.]

Farmer's Guide to Wind Energy

This publication was released by Farmer's Legal Action Group in August 2007. According to the FLAG website, "This book serves as a guide to the many legal issues faced by farmers and rural landowners who seek to develop wind energy projects.

The Farmers' Guide to Wind Energy: Legal Issues in Farming the Wind provides legal information for individuals developing wind projects, regardless of size. This includes farmer-owned large utility-scale wind farms as well as smaller on-farm or residential wind turbine projects. Legal issues covered in this guide include negotiating wind property agreements, siting a wind farm, liability risks associated with developing and operating wind turbines, project financing, choice of business structure, government incentives for wind development, and the tax consequences of these efforts."

Click here to go to the FLAG website.

Subscribe to Community Owned