The Minnesota State Department of Commerce gathered stakeholders last week to discuss a path forward for PACE Financing in Minnesota. Eutectics Consulting President Jeremy Kalin, chief author of the Minnesota PACE legislature, was called on to present the latest developments in Minnesota along with other thought leaders in this space.

After the passing of PACE legislation in 2010, groups throughout the state have expressed significant interest in PACE, but the path forward has been unclear. Currently, Edina is the only city in the state with an active PACE program. Two projects have been successfully completed, the second being an energy retrofit project at Salut Restaurant. With this project, facilitated by Eutectics Consulting, important lessons were learned and the path forward is now clear. Matthew Brown of Harcourt, Brown & Carey, a national expert on energy policy and finance hired by the State Department of Commerce to investigate commercial energy efficiency financing options, said of Eutectics work:

“I’m very impressed by what Eutectics has done, and it should be a model for the rest of the country.”

Eutectics is now actively working to expand the PACE map and make this innovative financing mechanism available to support economic development in communities across Minnesota. To make this happen, Eutectics is utilizing three different strategies:

  • Local governments leads.
  • Businesses and contractors lead.
  • Investors lead.

Local governments are essential to make a PACE program a reality and they are in the best position to lead. Local governments can accelerate the process by gathering support of the important decision makers and adopting the “PACE in a Box” documents. The “PACE in a Box documents are the set of legal documents developed by the City of Edina with support from the Minnesota Department of Commerce. These documents make implementing PACE a simple process.

Local businesses and contractors can also catalyze programs in the communities where they are located. In some circumstances, a high-profile project that is ready to go, but is having problems securing financing is the best way to gather support of local decision makers. Local governments is always looking for ways to promote economic development, so bringing these opportunities to the table can help to get things moving.

The third way a PACE program can be catalyzed is through investors and the commitment of capital to a pre-funded pool. Eutectics is working with a network of local investors to keep dollars circulating around Main Street in Minnesota and not out to the coasts.

Eutectics is working with local government, businesses and contractors, and investors across the state to expand the PACE map. Visit the PACE in Minnesota page to learn more about which jurisdictions we are engaging with. If you want your community to adopt PACE and have ideas for how to move the process along, we would love to hear from you. Contact Jeff to learn how Eutectics can help.