Affinity Plus participates in Mankato rural energy forums to discuss solar energy financing, CU Green

ST PAUL, MN (December 21, 2018) — Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union participated in a series of public rural energy forums in Mankato and North Mankato, Minn., in mid-December alongside area farmers, local state legislators, and a German energy policy expert from the University of Minnesota.

The forums were coordinated and hosted by Greater Mankato Growth, the region’s chamber of commerce. The goal was to discuss Germany’s renewable energy policies and ideas that could be used in Minnesota – particularly in rural and agriculture sectors.

“Southern Minnesota is an emerging leader in renewable energy, spurred by state energy policy and the cost competitiveness and growing reliability of renewables when compared to other forms of traditional electrical power generation,” according to Greater Minnesota Growth officials.

Minnesota Senators Nick Frentz, Julie Rosen and Dave Senjem shared their knowledge of opportunities available to help southern Minnesota businesses and communities. Each has dug into the topic of renewable energy over the past several years, making connections and learning from business leaders, farmers, and city leaders in Germany.

The legislators were joined at the rural energy forums by Dr. Sabine Engel from the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, and John Simonsen, Affinity Plus director of Real Estate.

“Affinity Plus currently offers residential financing options for solar energy, in conjunction with CU Green,” Simonsen said. CU Green is a clean energy lending platform, designed by Affinity Plus, Hiway Federal Credit Union and the Minnesota Credit Union Network to make clean energy accessible to more Minnesotans.

Affinity Plus introduced its first renewable energy product – the residential solar loan – in August 2018.

“While we currently offer this product for residential use, we’ve heard a lot of interest and have a lot of room to grow in the farming and commercial sector,” Simonsen said.

Since 2016, Affinity Plus has been involved in with the Climate-Smart Municipalities group, a multi-sector collaboration working to develop specific strategies that allow cities to reduce their energy footprint while boosting their local economies.

Through this program, Affinity Plus representatives traveled twice to Germany with a delegation to learn from its award-winning, climate-smart communities.

Affinity Plus is also leading by example, performing energy audits and making energy efficiency improvements in its more than 30 branches and facilities across Minnesota.

About Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union

Based in St. Paul, Minn., Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit, financial cooperative that puts people first above profits. Members of Affinity Plus receive maximum value through competitive rates, minimal fees, and unique, member-centric products and programs. Established in 1930, Affinity Plus has 30 branches located throughout Minnesota and is owned by more than 250,000 members. Affinity Plus has more than $4 billion in assets. Additional information is available at or by calling (800) 322-7228.


Danielle Johnson

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