The Kresge Foundation Makes $3 Million Program Investment in the Port’s MinnPACE Loan Program

The Kresge Foundation made a $3 million program-related investment into the Port Authority’s  Trillion BTU and MinnPACE loan programs. Funds are restricted to commercial projects in low-income neighborhoods, with preference given to women and minority owned businesses and nonprofit organizations. Funds are available for the next 18 months.

Ideal Opportunities

Ideal projects include energy efficiency upgrades: HVAC, lighting, motor, compressed air and manufacturing equipment and renewable energy investments: solar, wind and geothermal. Loans will be structured with a 5 percent interest rate and 10-year term. Because of the unique structure of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, payments are rolled into the business owner’s property taxes with no payments due until May of the following year. This provides the time needed to ramp-up energy savings make investments cash-positive from the start.

The Right Fit

Ideal borrowers include businesses and nonprofit organizations that own their buildings and are investing $25,000 or more in measures to reduce energy costs. Loans are capped at 20 percent of the property’s assessed value. Organizations wanting to learn more should contact Michael Linder at [email protected] or 651-204-6236.


“This infusion of capital into our energy-saving loan programs provides a unique opportunity over the next 12 to 18 months to support women and minority owned businesses, in low-income neighborhoods, across the Twin Cities.  We are excited to see the impact this will have on the environment, these businesses, their employees and their bottom line,” said Lee Krueger, president, Saint Paul Port Authority.


About MinnPACE and TrillionBTU

MinnPACE, a division of the Saint Paul Port Authority, is the largest provider of PACE financing in the State of Minnesota and third largest in the nation. MinnPACE loans are structured through joint powers agreements with Minnesota counties and cities, with payments being rolled into special property tax assessments. The benefit is a streamlined, 100 percent finance option that gives businesses time to decrease their utility spend before making any payments.

The Trillion BTU program is a partnership between The Saint Paul Port Authority, Xcel Energy, the Center for Energy and Environment (CEE), the Minnesota Legislature and the U.S. Department of Energy, with Xcel Energy covering most of the program’s operating expenses.

In most cases, TrillionBTU and MinnPACE loans work in-tandem. TrillionBTU funds are used to fund approved projects with payments rolling into the MinnPACE assessment.

Since the first loan funded in 2010, the Saint Paul Port Authority has participated in 211 completed transactions, totaling $69 million.  The impact is an annual reduction of 416 billion BTUs, saving Minnesota companies $12 million per year. The program has also supported 1,200 construction jobs through installations.

About The Kresge Foundation

The Kresge Foundation was founded in 1924 to promote human progress. Today, Kresge fulfills that mission by building and strengthening pathways to opportunity for low-income people in America’s cities, seeking to dismantle structural and systemic barriers to equality and justice. Using a full array of grant, loan, and other investment tools, Kresge invests more than $160 million annually to foster economic and social change. For more information visit