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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

HF 2911

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 05/18/2019 10:06am

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

Bill Text Versions

Engrossments
Introduction Posted on 05/17/2019

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to energy; modifying solar site management; amending Minnesota Statutes
2018, section 216B.1642.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 216B.1642, is amended to read:


216B.1642 SOLAR SITE MANAGEMENT.

Subdivision 1.

Site management practices.

An owner of a ground-mounted solar site
with a generating capacity of more than 40 kilowatts may follow site management practices
that (1) provide native perennial vegetation and foraging habitat beneficial to gamebirds,
songbirds, and pollinators, deleted text beginanddeleted text end (2) reduce storm water runoff and erosionnew text begin, and (3) improve
soil health and water quality
new text end at the solar generation site. To the extent practicable, when
establishing perennial vegetation and beneficial foraging habitat, a solar site owner shall
use native plant species and seed mixes under Department of Natural Resources "Prairie
Establishment & Maintenance Technical Guidance for Solar Projects."

Subd. 2.

Recognition of beneficial habitat.

An owner of a solar site implementing solar
site management practices under this section may claim that the site provides benefits to
gamebirds, songbirds, and pollinators only if the site adheres to guidance set forth by the
pollinator plan provided by the Board of Water and Soil Resources or any other gamebird,
songbird, or deleted text beginpollinator foraging-friendlydeleted text endnew text begin pollinator-friendlynew text end vegetation standard established
by the Board of Water and Soil Resources. An owner making a beneficial habitat claim
must make the site's vegetation management plan available to the public and provide a copy
of the plan to a Minnesota nonprofit solar industry trade association.

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Site management for production of bee and apiary products. new text end

new text begin An owner of
a solar site implementing management practices under this section may claim the site is
used for, and beneficial to, agricultural bee and apiary production only if the site:
new text end

new text begin (1) adheres to guidance established by the Board of Water and Soil Resources at a level
that meets or exceeds the qualifications for exemplary pollinator habitat, which may require,
at the solar site owner's expense, regular compliance reporting to and on-site inspection by
the Board of Water and Soil Resources or a local soil and water conservation district staff
person acting on the board's behalf; and
new text end

new text begin (2) is used for agricultural production of bee and apiary products for commercial sale,
with annual production reporting to the commissioner of agriculture.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Bee and apiary solar farm. new text end

new text begin "Bee and apiary solar farm" means the site of a
ground-mounted photovoltaic solar energy system with a generating capacity of more than
40 kilowatts that is used for, and beneficial to, agricultural bee and apiary production under
this subdivision that meets the following requirements:
new text end

new text begin (1) the project adheres to the solar site management guidance set forth under subdivision
2 and qualifies as providing exceptional habitat; and
new text end

new text begin (2) the apiary owner reports annual harvest type and weight to the Department of
Agriculture.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Conservation solar farm. new text end

new text begin "Conservation solar farm" means the site of a
ground-mounted photovoltaic solar energy system with a generating capacity of more than
40 kilowatts that meets the following requirements:
new text end

new text begin (1) a minimum of 33 percent of the project is sited on a Drinking Water Supply
Management Area or Wellhead Protection Areas identified as vulnerable by the Department
of Health;
new text end

new text begin (2) the project adheres to the solar site management guidance set forth under subdivision
2 and qualifies as providing exceptional habitat;
new text end

new text begin (3) the project includes a conservation buffer totaling four acres per megawatt direct
current installed solar capacity;
new text end

new text begin (4) once established, the vegetation on the solar array area and buffer is managed to
ensure it is free of weed species the Department of Agriculture identifies as noxious or
invasive; and
new text end

new text begin (5) grazing livestock in the solar array area or buffer is permitted only if the grazing is
pursuant to Department of Agriculture conservation grazing practices.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Conservation pasture solar farm. new text end

new text begin "Conservation pasture solar farm" means
the site of a ground-mounted photovoltaic solar energy system with a generating capacity
of more than 40 kilowatts that meets the following requirements:
new text end

new text begin (1) the project adheres to the solar site management guidance set forth under subdivision
2;
new text end

new text begin (2) grazing livestock in the solar array area or buffer is permitted only if the grazing is
pursuant to Department of Agriculture conservation grazing practices; and
new text end

new text begin (3) the herd owner reports the annual acreage used for forage to the Department of
Agriculture.
new text end