Great River Energy Programs

Our economic development team is committed to working with member-owner cooperatives to attract new commercial and industrial projects, while connecting them with resources to help existing businesses grow. From providing loans to helping plan and manage a business’ energy needs, we have the experience needed to bring together resources and support economic development in cooperative service areas.

The following pages outline our programs:

  • Business Expansion Loan Program
  • Energy Efficiency and Electrification (E3) Commercial Financing Program
  • USDA Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program
  • Economic Development Training Program

Business Expansion Loan Program


To facilitate commercial and industrial investment in areas served by all-requirements cooperative members of Great River Energy, and support projects that will result in new energy sales.

Borrower Eligibility

A Commercial business or municipality serving a commercial customer of an allrequirements cooperative member of Great River Energy.

Eligible projects shall result in a minimum new electrical demand of 500 kW.

The business must demonstrate credit worthiness and adequate repayment ability.

Eligible Uses

Business expansion or start-up costs including:

  • Land acquisition and pre-development activities
  • Construction costs
  • Equipment

Ineligible Uses

  • Debt refinance, or working capital

Maximum and Minimum Loan Amounts

  • Minimum - $100,000
  • Maximum – $500,000 - Based on project scope

Loan Terms

  • Loans could be structured as a direct loan to the borrower, or loan participation with a lead lender.
  • The Business Expansion loan is limited to 50% of the total project costs. Interest rate on the loan could be as low as 0.0%.
  • For a direct loan, the loan must be collateralized through an annually-renewing letter of credit or through a municipal guaranty with a value equal to 100% of the loan amount.
  • In a loan participation a shared collateral position with the lead lender is required.
  • The maximum loan term is ten years.

Energy Efficiency and Electrification (E3) Commercial Financing

The E3 commercial financing program is available to all-requirements cooperatives to facilitate the installation of high efficiency equipment, and to support beneficial electrification projects of CI&A members, resulting in net carbon reduction and new energy sales.

Minimum Loan Amount

The minimum loan amount is $50,000 per project. However, the total outstanding balance of loans for all projects by the same owner/entity and located in the same location is limited to eighty percent of the total project costs up to a maximum of $350,000.

Maximum loan amounts

Applicants may apply for the cost of the equipment (including installation) with a maximum loan of $350,000 per project. Projects exceeding the $350,000 will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Interest rates

The interest rate on Great River Energy’s loan will not exceed three percent, but could be as low as zero percent depending on the level of energy savings or new energy sales resulting from the project.


Great River Energy’s all-requirements cooperatives, with loan proceeds going to support CI&A member energy efficiency and electrification projects.

Ineligible Uses:

  • Debt refinance and/or working capital are not eligible.

Loan Terms:

Loans are structured as a pass-through loan to the member cooperative.

The E3 loan is limited to eighty percent of the total project costs up to a maximum of $350,000. The interest rate on Great River Energy’s loan will not exceed 3%, but could be a low as 0% depending on the level of energy savings or new energy sales resulting from the project.

The interest rate and repayment terms to the ultimate recipient business shall be the same as Great River Energy’s, although the member cooperative may charge up to one percent annually for loan servicing.

The maximum loan term is ten years.

Eligible Uses/Qualifying Projects:


  • Custom energy efficiency projects
  • HVAC
  • Lighting
  • Manufacturing equipment
  • Requires annual kWh savings > 100,000 kWhs


  • Custom electrification projects
  • Electric Forklifts
  • Energy Star commercial food service equipment
  • Heat pumps
  • Robotic milking systems

Please note: Equipment financed through this program is not eligible for CIP rebate funds.

Download Programs Flyer Here

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