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City gets OK to issue bonds for wind turbines

WILLMAR -- Folkedahl Consulting Inc. of Willmar announces the City of Willmar has received authorization to issue two Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREB) on behalf of the Willmar Municipal Utilities to finance the utilities' two new wind turbines.

Willmar was the only entity in Minnesota to receive CREB allocations from the Internal Revenue Service in 2009, said Jon Folkedahl of Folkedahl Consulting. The IRS authorized previous awards in 2006 and 2007.

CREB bonding is authorized by the IRS to finance renewable energy projects including wind, biomass, geothermal, solar, municipal solid waste, small irrigation power and hydropower.

The CREB bonds to be issued by the city will be used to reimburse costs for the two turbines. Use of the bonding authority is expected to save the city and utilities more than $1.7 million in interest costs over the life of the projects.

Folkedahl said the average cost of the energy generated by the turbines will accordingly be reduced by approximately one cent per kilowatt hours.

Folkedahl was retained by the utilities to prepare the competitive CREB applications, which were submitted in August.

-- Staff reports