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HF 234

1st Engrossment - 90th Legislature (2017 - 2018) Posted on 03/21/2017 09:14am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language. underscored = added, new language.

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A bill for an act
relating to energy; amending Public Utilities Commission regulation of municipal
electric utilities and rural electric cooperatives;amending Minnesota Statutes 2016,
section 216B.164, subdivisions 5, 9, by adding a subdivision.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 216B.164, subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Dispute; resolution.

In the event of disputes between an electric a public utility
and a qualifying facility, either party may request a determination of the issue by the
commission. In any such determination, the burden of proof shall be on the public utility.
The commission in its order resolving each such dispute shall require payments to the
prevailing party of the prevailing party's costs, disbursements, and reasonable attorneys'
fees, except that the qualifying facility will be required to pay the costs, disbursements, and
attorneys' fees of the public utility only if the commission finds that the claims of the
qualifying facility in the dispute have been made in bad faith, or are a sham, or are frivolous.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 216B.164, subdivision 9, is amended to read:


Subd. 9.

Municipal electric utility.

For purposes of this section only, except subdivision
5,
and with respect to municipal electric utilities only, the term "commission" means the
governing body of each municipal electric utility that adopts and has in effect rules
implementing this section which are consistent with the rules adopted by the Minnesota
Public Utilities Commission under subdivision 6. As used in this subdivision, the governing
body of a municipal electric utility means the city council of that municipality; except that,
if another board, commission, or body is empowered by law or resolution of the city council
or by its charter to establish and regulate rates and days for the distribution of electric energy
within the service area of the city, that board, commission, or body shall be considered the
governing body of the municipal electric utility.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 216B.164, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


Subd. 11.

Cooperative electric association.

(a) For purposes of this section only, the
term "commission" means the board of directors of a cooperative association that (1) elects,
by resolution, to assume the authority delegated to the Public Utilities Commission over
cooperative electric associations under this section, and (2) adopts and has in effect rules
implementing this section. The rules must provide for a process to resolve disputes that
arise under this section, and must include a provision that a request by either party for
mediation of the dispute by an independent third-party must be implemented. A cooperative
electric association that has adopted a resolution and rules under this subdivision is exempt
from regulation by the Public Utilities Commission under this section.

(b) Except as provided in paragraph (c), any proceedings concerning the activities of a
cooperative electric association under this section that are pending at the Public Utilities
Commission on the effective date of this section are terminated on that date.

(c) The Public Utilities Commission shall limit its investigation in Docket No. 16-512
determining whether the methodology used by cooperative associations to establish a fee
under section 216B.164, subdivision 3, paragraph (a), complies with state law. The
commission shall complete the investigation no later than December 31, 2017. A
methodology determined by the commission to comply with state law may not be challenged
in a dispute under section 216B.164. If the commission determines that a methodology does
not comply with state law, it shall clearly state the changes necessary to bring the
methodology into compliance, and the cooperative electric association shall proceed under
paragraph (a).

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective the day following final enactment.

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