skip to content
Primary navigation
Feature image for News

News

News - Contact Info

Minnesota Climate Innovation Finance Authority issues RFI in first step to accelerate clean energy projects for historically underserved communities

2/13/2024 12:00:00 PM

The Minnesota Climate Innovation Finance Authority (MnCIFA) issued its first Request for Information (RFI) seeking input on clean energy initiatives, including those that will serve historically underserved populations to accelerate the adoption of proven clean energy technology and greenhouse gas reduction projects. 

“MnCIFA will help meet the goals of Minnesota’s Climate Action Framework and become a national leader in clean energy funding. This new way of financing clean energy projects for historically underserved communities is an important goal to build an equitable clean energy future,” said Commerce Commissioner Grace Arnold.

MnCIFA Executive Director Peter Klein said, “In issuing the RFI, we’re taking the first steps to explore new technologies and working with new concepts on how to change our use and production of energy. The responses we get to the RFI will inform MnCIFA as we develop a strategic plan and long-term investment strategies. MnCIFA is looking to support projects in Minnesota that have financial needs that cannot be fully met by existing financial tools available in the private market.”

During the 2023 Session, the Minnesota Legislature passed bills that created and funded MnCIFA, which is structured as a publicly accountable financing authority, commonly known in other states as a “green bank.” 

MnCIFA is being set up under Commerce’s Energy Resources Division but is an independent agency with its own Board of Directors. In addition to accelerating clean energy projects, MnCIFA aims to expand access to untapped markets and bring benefits to historically underserved communities.

The RFI seeks feedback on clean energy initiatives, including those with an emphasis on benefitting environmental justice communities. Based on state law, MnCIFA must ensure at least 40 percent of the direct benefits of authority activities flow to environmental justice communities, which are typically determined by their US census ethnic and income level characteristics.

MnCIFA issued an RFI from clean energy project developers, asset owners, community organizations, financial institutions and other relevant parties to:

  • Inform the design of financial products and programs housed within MnCIFA. Products could include warehousing and aggregation credit facilities; credit enhancements; pre-development and construction financing; and term loans and investments, amongst other structures. 
  • Solicit initial feedback on the potential use of state funds from a State Energy Financing Institution to implement the goals of MnCIFA while leveraging federal funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office.

The RFI is available to view and download on the Minnesota Department of Commerce RFP website now through the submission deadline of March 15, 2024.  An informational webinar on the RFI will be held on Thursday, February 15 at 12 p.m. CST. 

Get updates and news from the Minnesota Department of Commerce at mn.gov/commerce or @MNCommerce on social media.  

MEDIA CONTACT: 

Mo Schriner, Communications Director
Minnesota Department of Commerce
mo.schriner@state.mn.us

back to top