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New authority to soon start reviewing clean, sustainable energy projects

Lieutenant Governor Brent Sanford Portrait
Poppy Mills/NDDOT
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Portrait of Lieutenant Governor Brent Sanford

North Dakota’s new Clean Sustainable Energy Authority is getting ready to start reviewing projects, once it finalizes guidelines.

The state’s Industrial Commission is looking for public comment on those draft guidelines.

The 2021 Legislature established the Authority to enhance the production of clean sustainable energy, in terms of such things as carbon capture. $25 million was appropriated from the General Fund, and the Authority can borrow up to $250 million from the Bank of North Dakota.

The comments on the draft guidelines are due next Tuesday, Sept. 14th.

"Our timeline is pretty ambitious, trying to wrap this up in this calendar year," said the Authority chairman, Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford. "We're looking at new technologies to commercialize low emission technologies."

Sanford said the plan is to take applications by late fall, with Authority approval by Thanksgiving – and a final okay by the Industrial Commission at the end of December.

"With this aggressive timetable, the projects are going to have to be ready to go closer to shovel-ready, rather than grabbing a plan off the shelf or starting a new plan," Sanford said.

Sanford said there has been a lot of interest in the program.

"Believe me — the Legislature is ready for more requests," Sanford said. "They know that $25 million is not enough for what's in front of us."

Sanford said the hope is to get projects off to a good start.

"We'll see where it goes," Sanford said.

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