Minnesota Climate Innovation Finance Authority

MNCIFA is a state fund that will help communities, families, and businesses throughout Minnesota access money for renewable energy projects. 

Established by the 2023 MN Legislature and modeled in part after successful "green banks" in 17 states and the District of Colombia, MNCIFA is a critical tool to help MN transition to clean energy equitably, and at the scale and pace we need.

"MNCIFA has been described as a gold standard, nationally, for financing the renewable energy transition. It can help Minnesotans in all corners of the state, particularly historically underserved communities, get to a green energy future."

--former MN Senator Patricia Torres Ray

MNCIFA overview: 

  • MNCIFA is a fund for all Minnesotans
  • The 2023 legislature allocated $45 million of one-time state dollars, which will make Minnesota competitive for significant federal funds from the federal Greenhouse Gas Reduction fund (GGRF).
  • MNCIFA will use public dollars to leverage private investment by reducing the perceived risk, pooling projects to create investable opportunities, and demonstrating the performance of clean energy projects in our market. Green bank models in other states indicate that MNCIFA will leverage between $3-10 of private investment for every dollar of public funds invested.
  • MNCIFA will be managed by an 11-member governing board comprising individuals who represent all of Minnesota; the board will be required to provide the legislature with detailed annual updates on progress, communities served, and the level of private investment leveraged.
  • MNCIFA will develop a strategic plan and investment strategy based on an analysis of the gaps in the market and input from community and stakeholders.
  • MNCIFA will serve those whom existing banks and lending institutions have not yet helped. It ensures that all Minnesotans, no matter their income, race, or zip code, will have the opportunity to access clean, locally produced energy from the wind and the sun. 
  • It will also give communities access to technical assistance, to help them address pressing community needs with solutions that also lower their energy burden. 
  • MNCIFA will make Minnesota a national leader in equitably funding the renewable energy transition. And it will position Minnesota to receive substantial federal climate funds at this key moment.

Clean energy investments possible with MNCIFA:

  • Community-wide projects like geothermal or district heating and cooling, community solar, or microgrids that require significant coordination and pre-design.
  • Lower- to moderate-income households and businesses that may be perceived as riskier borrowers or otherwise don’t currently meet the requirements of private lenders. Without upfront capital to take advantage of tax rebates, many people will be left out of opportunities to choose renewables and save money.
  • Agricultural Sector: Farms, strapped for time and people power, may find it difficult to navigate funding and find technical assistance. New crops need funding to get through the “Commercialization Valley of Death.”
  • Smaller KW projects: Because of increased costs per transaction, banks often prefer to lend to larger projects, often leaving smaller projects unfunded.
  • Influencing Building Standards: Public investment of sufficient scale and capacity, when tied to zero-emission building standards, can help drive markets towards better outcomes (for example, affordable housing with extremely low energy bills).


"MNCIFA is expected to be one of the most powerful green banks in the country. For example, Connecticut’s green bank, which largely inspired MNCIFA through its quasi-public structure and broad range of functions, was created in 2011. Today, it has nearly $300 million in assets, and has reportedly mobilized $284 million in public funds over the course of a decade to support over $2.2 billion in investments. Some of the functions and purposes that Connecticut only recently equipped its green bank with will be available to the MNCIFA on day one. Moreover, the unprecedented federal support available through the GGRF could mean that the MNCIFA reaches the scale of Connecticut’s green bank far sooner."

--Jordan Haedtler, Climate Financial Policy Consultant

Watch this page for more information to come about how to access MNCIFA funds

Thank you to Representative Emma Greenman, Senator Tou Xiong, Representative Patty Acomb, and Senator Nick Frentz
for their leadership in getting MNCIFA passed in the 2023 legislature. 

Banner photo credit: Real Solar