Massachusetts Makes Federal CREBs Available

As part of Governor Patrick’s Massachusetts Recovery Plan to secure the state’s economic future, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Ian Bowles announced that federally sponsored Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREB) are available to help municipalities, state agencies and other public entities finance solar, wind and other renewable power projects.

A component of clean energy funding made possible through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, US $1.6 billion in zero interest bonds are being offered nationwide. State and local governments, municipal electric companies, and electric cooperatives are each allocated one-third of the new CREBs.

In anticipation of federal stimulus funding, Governor Patrick in December 2008 established 10 task forces to explore how the Commonwealth could best use the hundreds of millions of federal dollars expected to flow to Massachusetts for “shovel-ready” infrastructure projects.

Both the Municipal Task Force, chaired by Lt. Governor Timothy Murray, and the Energy Task Force, headed by Secretary Bowles, identified a number of solar and other renewable energy projects that could benefit from CREB funding.

“Clean Renewable Energy Bonds are an essential tool for jumpstarting the installation of smaller scale solar and wind power in communities across Massachusetts, supporting job creation and helping the Commonwealth reach the ambitious clean energy benchmarks set by Governor Patrick,” Secretary Bowles said.

Created by the Internal Revenue Service in 2006, the CREB program encourages the development of new renewable energy projects through zero interest loans for states and municipalities. By participating in the program, public entities save on both energy and borrowing costs. Borrowers make no interest payments because the bondholder receives a federal tax credit in lieu of interest income.

The bonds can be issued by the Executive Office of Administration and Finance or by MassDevelopment, the state finance and development authority that works with businesses, financial institutions and local officials to stimulate economic growth.   
 
For guidance on the use of CREB financing, click here.

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