Community-Based Energy Development (C-BED)
Our Community-Based Energy Development (C-BED) tariff went into effect under Minn. Stat. § 216B.1612 in 2006. The purpose of the tariff is to optimize local, regional, and state benefits from wind energy development and to facilitate widespread development of community-based wind energy projects throughout Minnesota.
In 2008 the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved changes to our C-BED tariff that expand eligibility beyond wind energy. The tariff now includes renewable energy sources such as biogas, solar, biomass, biodiesel, and small hydro.
Priority for C-BED projects
A utility subject to section 216B.1691 that needs to construct new generation, or purchase the output from new generation, should take reasonable steps to determine if one or more C-BED projects are available. A project must meet the utility's cost and reliability requirements when standard reliability criteria is applied, and it must fulfill some or all of the identified need at minimal impact to customer rates. Nothing in this section shall be construed to obligate a utility to enter into a power-purchase agreement under a C-BED tariff developed under this section. Minn. Stat. § 216B.1612, subd. 5(a).
Property owner participation
The C-BED program provides flexibility in pricing to the developer of renewable energy projects. Under the C-BED tariff, we offer developers a "front-end loaded rate" for the energy from a community-based energy project. The front-end loaded rate means that the developer can receive a higher rate in the early years of a wind energy contract, during the years when the developer must service the debt on the project, in exchange for a lower rate in the later years of a contract. This financing tool helps C-BED projects overcome financing barriers. In exchange, the C-BED developer must provide security to ensure that ratepayers receive the benefit of the project during the wind energy contract (a term of at least 20 years).
To the extent feasible, a developer of a C-BED project must provide, in writing, an opportunity to invest in the C-BED project to each property owner on whose property a high-voltage transmission line is constructed that will transmit the energy generated by the C-BED project to market. This subdivision applies if the property is located, and the owner resides, in the county where the C-BED project is located. Minn. Stat. § 216B.1612, subd. 6
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