We would like to extend a warm thank you to all Norfolk Wind Energy participants who sent a letter to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC). The MPUC received 220 letters voicing opposition to changes in the C-BED standards. The letters made a strong impact and we greatly appreciate your efforts.
Existing interpretation of C-BED law requires that 51 percent of the revenue generation from the sale of wind-generated electricity flow to qualified owners or other local entities. All previous interpretations have defined these local entities as any Minnesota-based company, including subcontractors and any professional service provider that participates in the project. All C-BED projects have been evaluated under this definition to date.
However, questions raised by some have encouraged the Office of Energy Security (OES) to suggest unfeasible modifications. These modifications would skew the characterization of a local entity to only include those vendors directly located in the county where the wind project is situated. While that sounds good, it makes it practically impossible to build C-BED wind projects because finance providers, experienced general contractors, and turbine maintenance contractors, do not exist in every county. If C-BED interpretations were significantly changed to reflect these limitations, most Minnesota community projects, including Norfolk, may no longer qualify for C-BED designation.
The Minnesota Senate recently passed a positive amendment to current C-BED legislation, that if passed would eliminate the interpretation raised by OES. The Minnesota House of Representatives will vote on this amendment within the next few weeks. The bill enhances the existing policy that has defined qualified recipients as any entity in the State of Minnesota. The bill provides common sense changes in the current statute that reduce ambiguity, and clarify how C-BED benefits are calculated. We are encouraged with the broad legislative support to date and we are hopeful that this legislation will pass both houses in its current form.
National Wind will continue to monitor the legislative and permitting efforts to help coordinate effective responses to those who want to change the C-BED law and stop wind growth. We appreciate your support for our projects and for renewable energy.