Successful applicants receive a low-interest loan that consists of a combination of AERLP and lender-provided funds. The AERLP provides 50% of the total loan at 0% interest rate up to a maximum of $1,000,000. Rural electric cooperatives and municipal utilities are limited to one loan every 2 years with a maximum loan of $500,000. The remainder of the loan is provided by a lender at market rate.
Eligible renewable energy technologies include solar, biomass, wind and small hydro.
Technical applications for projects with a total financed capital cost of $50,000 or less are reviewed on a continuous basis. Higher cost project are reviewed on a quarterly basis, with deadlines on October 31, January 31, April 30, and July 31.
Submissions received during a given application cycle are reviewed and ranked. Those applications receiving the highest ranking are selected to receive loans, subject to the sufficient available program funds. After the Energy Center technically qualifies a project, the lending institution chosen by the applicant financially qualifies the applicant. The lender manages the entire loan and arranges repayment of the AERLP share of the loan to the Iowa Energy Center.
The maximum loan term allowed for the AERLP funds is 20 years. As the loans are paid back to the Iowa Energy Center, those funds are cycled back into the program and made available to new applicants.
Through the end of June 2012, the AERLP provided loans of more than $28.4 million in support of 195 renewable energy projects since its inception.