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MN Climate Innovation Finance Authority

NEWS: June meetings dates announced. See Meetings section below.

Background

During the 2023 Session, the Minnesota Legislature passed bills that created and funded the Minnesota Climate Innovation Finance Authority (MnCIFA). The mission of MnCIFA, a publicly-accountable financing authority commonly known in other states as a “green bank,” will be to accelerate the adoption of proven clean energy technology and greenhouse gas reduction projects to expand access to untapped markets and to bring benefits to historically underserved communities.

Article 21, Section 2, of Minnesota Laws 2023 Chapter 53 created Minnesota Climate Innovation Authority Account to stimulate the development of clean energy and greenhouse gas emissions reduction projects by using innovative financing tools to leverage private and public capital to overcome the market barriers that inhibit the financing of these projects.

Article 21, Section 6 (b) states that, in the biennium ending on June 30, 2025, Minnesota Department of Management and Budget will transfer $25 million from the general fund to the Minnesota Climate Innovation Authority Account.

Article 10, Section 6 of the Energy and Climate Omnibus Appropriates $20 Million from the General Fund to the Minnesota Climate Innovation Authority Account.  

Key MnCIFA provisions

MnCIFA will use public dollars to leverage private investment by reducing the perceived risk, pooling projects to create investable opportunities, and demonstrating the performance of clean energy projects in our market. MnCIFA will partner with Minnesota's strong ecosystem of clean energy service providers, using additional investment to increase the adoption of existing products and reduce barriers for underserved and low-income populations.

MnCIFA will create robust consumer protections and support further development of Minnesota's clean energy workforce by requiring that major projects are subject to prevailing wage requirements and that MnCIFA prioritizes activities supporting creation of high-quality employment and apprenticeship opportunities for local workers.

In February 2024, MnCIFA issued a Request for Information (RFI) from clean energy project developers, asset owners, financial institutions and other relevant parties. View the 2024 RFI here

Members of the Board

  • Chair: Bali Kumar – member with expertise in investment fund management, financing and deploying clean energy technologies
  • Vice Chair: Tessa Haagenson – member representing either a municipal electric utility or a cooperative electric association
  • Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin – Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
  • Joe Fowler – representative of a labor union with experience in working on clean energy projects
  • Frank Kohlasch – designee for Minnesota Pollution Control Agency 
  • Kevin McKinnon – designee for Department of Employment & Economic Development 
  • Marcus Mills – member with expertise in environmental justice
  • Julia Nelmark – member with expertise in financing projects at a community bank, credit union, community development institution or local government 
  • Kate Perushek – designee for Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry 
  • Axaule Sultanova – member with expertise in sustainable development and energy conservation
  • Katherine Teiken – designee for Minnesota Housing Finance Agency 
  • Jenna Warmuth – member with expertise in the impact of climate change on Minnesota communities, particularly low income communities
  • Pete Wyckoff – designee for Minnesota Department of Commerce

Staff: Peter Klein, Interim Executive Director

Meetings and updates

September 29, 2023 The Governor made initial appointments to the MnCIFA Board. More information about appointees can be found on the Governor's appointments website.

November 15, 2023 The first MnCIFA board meeting took place November 15. Bali Kumar was elected Board Chair and Tessa Haagenson was elected Vice Chair.

 January 17, 2024 board meeting

  • Agenda and meeting materials 

March 20, 2024 board meeting

March 26, 2024 special board meeting

April 17, 2024 board meeting 

May 15, 2024 board meeting

June 6, 2024 strategic planning and investment strategy committee meeting. Virtual meeting,

June 10, 2024 quarterly public input meeting. Virtual meeting, 5:30pm. Maps: environmental justice in Minnesota

Please contact Peter Klein at  peter.klein@state.mn.us with questions.

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