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New program in Winona County for businesses investing in renewable energy

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During the past 18 months, Winona, Houston, Fillmore, and Olmsted County Boards have all approved agreements making a new Minnesota financing tool called Property-Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, available throughout the region.

This program will advance adoption of energy efficiency for buildings and renewable energy for businesses, farms, multi-family housing, nonprofits, and places of worship, while helping these property owners invest in their assets.

PACE provides project financing that is repaid as a separate item on property tax assessments for a set period. In this way, PACE eliminates the burden of upfront costs by providing low-cost, long-term financing.

Examples of potential building improvements that can be financed with PACE are solar arrays, HVAC upgrades, LED lighting, condensing boilers, digital controls, insulation, variable-frequency drive motors, building automation systems, and other water and energy conservation measures.

“PACE financing is different than a traditional loan and will help building owners in participating counties overcome several barriers to making energy-related building improvements,” said Chris Meyer, the Southeast Regional Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) coordinator.

Minnesota legislation makes this program available to the state, and the St. Paul Port Authority manages the program in which Winona County is participating. Original funds are part of a revolving loan fund, but the program’s popularity has allowed for additional private investment to be available for PACE financing.

“PACE financing is different than a traditional loan and will help building owners in participating counties overcome several barriers to making energy-related building improvements.” Chris Meyer, the Southeast Regional Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) coordinator.

“PACE financing is different than a traditional loan and will help building owners in participating counties overcome several barriers to making energy-related building improvements.”

Chris Meyer, the Southeast Regional Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) coordinator.

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