January 8, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Xcel Energy is looking to invest up to US$25 million in new ways to produce electricity from renewable sources, and the company is currently accepting proposals for grants from its Renewable Development Fund. The company released the fund’s request-for-proposals (RFP), so anyone seeking a grant has until March 16, 2004, to apply. The RFP can be found at the company’s Web site listed below. Click on the “Community and Environment” link at the top of the home page and then the Renewable Development Fund link. Funding for renewable energy projects will be available for various-sized projects in two categories: Energy Production, and Research and Development. In the first funding cycle in 2001, 19 projects totaling US$16 million were selected for funding. The projects covered a broad spectrum of environmentally friendly sources for producing electricity, including wind, hydro, solar and biomass – as well as several research projects involving renewable energy. A renewable fund advisory board comprised of two representatives of Xcel Energy, two representatives of environmental organizations and one representative of the Prairie Island Indian Community will evaluate and choose winning proposals. Winners will be announced later in 2004, and all selected projects are subject to approval by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.