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C-BED allowed for counties (new law)

Published (5/16/2008)
By Nick Busse
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Beginning Aug. 1, 2008, counties will join cities and school districts in being able to invest in Community-Based Energy Development projects.

A new law signed May 13 by Gov. Tim Pawlenty will allow counties to enter into long-term power purchase agreements for electricity generated by C-BED projects and also own and operate C-BED projects of their own. Rep. Lyle Koenen (DFL-Clara City) and Sen. Gary Kubly (DFL-Granite Falls) are the sponsors.

C-BED projects, which are mostly wind energy conversion systems (wind turbines), are designed to maximize the local economic benefits of renewable energy development by utilizing local investors, banks, labor and other resources.

Koenen said that allowing counties to invest in C-BED projects will not only boost C-BED development in the state, but also provide counties with the ability to stabilize their energy costs by entering into long-term agreements to purchase electricity at a fixed rate. He added that the new law is the product of several years’ worth of negotiations between rural and metro-area counties and the state’s major power companies.

Under the law’s provisions, power purchase agreements may be of a length between one and 20 years. Counties may enter into purchase and sale agreements with utilities for the electricity produced from their C-BED projects, but are not allowed to sell the electrical energy themselves at retail.


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