as introduced - 83rd Legislature (2003 - 2004) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am
1.1 A bill for an act 1.2 relating to agriculture; establishing a wind turbine 1.3 loan program; appropriating money; proposing coding 1.4 for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 41B. 1.5 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 1.6 Section 1. [41B.051] [WIND TURBINE LOAN PROGRAM.] 1.7 Subdivision 1. [ESTABLISHMENT.] The authority shall 1.8 establish and implement a wind turbine loan program to help 1.9 finance the purchase of wind turbines and associated equipment 1.10 to be located on farms for production of electricity to sell on 1.11 the electrical grid. 1.12 Subd. 2. [REVOLVING FUND.] There is established in the 1.13 state treasury a revolving fund, which is eligible to receive 1.14 appropriations and the transfer of funds. All repayments of 1.15 financial assistance granted under subdivision 1, including 1.16 principal and interest, must be deposited into this fund. 1.17 Interest earned on money in the fund accrues to the fund, and 1.18 money in the fund is appropriated to the commissioner of 1.19 agriculture for purposes of the wind turbine loan program, 1.20 including costs incurred by the authority to establish and 1.21 administer the program. 1.22 Subd. 3. [ELIGIBILITY.] Notwithstanding section 41B.03, to 1.23 be eligible for a loan under this section a borrower must: 1.24 (1) locate a one megawatt or larger wind turbine and 1.25 associated equipment on farmland located in Minnesota; 2.1 (2) provide evidence of financial stability; 2.2 (3) demonstrate an ability to repay the loan; and 2.3 (4) provide evidence that the capital assets purchased will 2.4 be properly managed and maintained. 2.5 Subd. 4. [LOANS.] (a) The authority may make a direct loan 2.6 or participate in a loan with an eligible lender to a person who 2.7 is eligible under subdivision 3. The interest rates and 2.8 repayment terms of the authority's participation interest may 2.9 differ from the interest rates and repayment terms of the 2.10 lender's retained portion of the loan. The authority's interest 2.11 rate for a direct loan or a loan participation must not exceed 2.12 four percent. 2.13 (b) Application for a direct loan or a loan participation 2.14 must be made on forms prescribed by the authority. 2.15 (c) Standards for loan amortization shall be set by the 2.16 Rural Finance Authority not to exceed ten years. 2.17 (d) Security for the loans must be a personal note executed 2.18 by the borrower and whatever other security is required by the 2.19 eligible lender or the authority. 2.20 (e) No loan proceeds may be used to refinance a debt 2.21 existing prior to application. 2.22 (f) The authority may impose a reasonable nonrefundable 2.23 application fee for each application for a direct loan or a loan 2.24 participation. The authority may review the application fees 2.25 annually and make adjustments as necessary. The application fee 2.26 is initially set at $100 for a loan under subdivision 1. The 2.27 fees received by the authority must be deposited in the 2.28 revolving fund created in subdivision 2. 2.29 Subd. 5. [LOAN CRITERIA.] (a) To be eligible, a borrower 2.30 must be a resident of Minnesota or an entity that is not 2.31 prohibited from owning agricultural land under section 500.24. 2.32 (b) State participation in a participation loan is limited 2.33 to 45 percent of the principal amount of the loan. A direct 2.34 loan or loan participation may not exceed $450,000. 2.35 (c) Loans under this program may be used as a match for 2.36 federal loans or grants. 3.1 (d) A borrower who has previously received a loan under 3.2 subdivision 1 is prohibited from receiving another wind turbine 3.3 loan under subdivision 1. 3.4 Subd. 6. [REVENUE BONDS.] The authority may issue up to 3.5 $10,000,000 of revenue bonds to finance the wind turbine loan 3.6 program in accordance with sections 41B.08 to 41B.15, 41B.17, 3.7 and 41B.18. Bonds may be refunded by the issuance of refunding 3.8 bonds in the manner authorized by chapter 475. The proceeds of 3.9 the bonds issued under this subdivision are appropriated to the 3.10 authority to make loans under this section.