Minnesota has received nearly $225 million of federal stimulus funding for energy programs, with $131,937,411 allocated under the Weatherization Assistance Program, $37,359,400 allocated under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program (EECBGP) and $54,172,000 allocated under the State Energy Program (SEP). The Minnesota State Legislature passed, and on May 21, 2009, Gov. Pawlenty signed into law, S.F. 657, a bill providing directions and appropriations for the use of the SEP funds and a portion of the EECBGP funds.

One of the allocations of SEP funds in the state legislation is to Energy Programs in Commercial and Industrial Buildings. This provision of the bill provides grants for installation of:

  • Energy efficiency improvements.
  • Devices that use renewable energy sources to generate electricity or to heat or cool a building. 
  • Geothermal heating and cooling systems.  

These grants are available to economic development authorities or to owners of commercial and industrial facilities and facilities owned by nonprofit companies.

Individual awards under this program are limited to $500,000, with a total of $4.5 million being allocated to the program overall. To be eligible for a grant under this section, projects must begin operation after July 1, 2009. The program will be administered by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, although an official application process for the program is still to be developed.