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HF 4404

as introduced - 92nd Legislature (2021 - 2022) Posted on 04/21/2022 01:51pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to solar energy; establishing a program to award grants for the installation
of solar energy generating systems on public buildings; requiring a report;
appropriating money; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter
216C.

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

Section 1.

new text begin [216C.377] SOLAR GRANT PROGRAM; PUBLIC BUILDINGS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Definitions. new text end

new text begin (a) For the purposes of this section, the following terms have
the meanings given.
new text end

new text begin (b) "Developer" means an entity that applies for a grant on behalf of a public building
under this section to install a solar energy generating system on the public building.
new text end

new text begin (c) "Local unit of government" means a county, statutory or home rule charter city, town,
or other local government jurisdiction, excluding a school district eligible to receive financial
assistance under section 216C.375 or 216C.376.
new text end

new text begin (d) "Public building" means a building owned and operated by a local unit of government.
new text end

new text begin (e) "Solar energy generating system" has the meaning given in section 216E.01,
subdivision 9a.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Establishment; purpose. new text end

new text begin A solar on public buildings grant program is
established in the Department of Commerce. The purpose of the program is to provide grants
to stimulate the installation of solar energy generating systems on public buildings.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Establishment of account. new text end

new text begin A solar on public buildings grant program account
is established in the special revenue fund. Money received from the general fund and the
renewable development account established in section 116C.779, subdivision 1, must be
transferred to the commissioner of commerce and credited to the account. Earnings, including
interest, dividends, and any other earnings arising from the assets of the account, must be
credited to the account. Earnings remaining in the account at the end of a fiscal year do not
cancel to the general fund or renewable development account but remain in the account
until expended. The commissioner must manage the account.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Expenditures. new text end

new text begin Money in the account may be used only:
new text end

new text begin (1) for grant awards made under this section; and
new text end

new text begin (2) to pay the reasonable costs of the department to administer this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Eligible system. new text end

new text begin (a) A grant may be awarded to a local unit of government
under this section only if the solar energy system that is the subject of the grant:
new text end

new text begin (1) is installed on or adjacent to a public building that consumes the electricity generated
by the solar energy generating system, on property within the service territory of the utility
currently providing electric service to the public building; and
new text end

new text begin (2) has a capacity that does not exceed the lesser of 40 kilowatts or 120 percent of the
average annual electricity consumption of the public building, measured over the most
recent three calendar years, at which the solar energy generating system is installed.
new text end

new text begin (b) A public building that receives a rebate or other financial incentive under section
216B.241 for a solar energy system is eligible for a grant under this section for the same
solar energy generating system.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Application process. new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner must issue a request for proposals
to utilities, local units of government, and developers who may wish to apply for a grant
under this section on behalf of a public building.
new text end

new text begin (b) A utility or developer must submit an application to the commissioner on behalf of
a public building on a form prescribed by the commissioner. The form must include, at a
minimum, the following information:
new text end

new text begin (1) the capacity of the proposed solar energy system and the amount of electricity that
is expected to be generated;
new text end

new text begin (2) the current energy demand of the public building on which the solar energy generating
system is to be installed, information regarding any distributed energy resource that currently
provides electricity to the public building, and the size of the public building's subscription
to a community solar garden, if applicable;
new text end

new text begin (3) information sufficient to estimate the energy and monetary savings that are projected
to result from installation of the solar energy generating system over the system's useful
life;
new text end

new text begin (4) the total cost to purchase and install the solar energy system and the solar energy
system's lifecycle cost, including removal and disposal at the end of the system's life; and
new text end

new text begin (5) a copy of the proposed contract agreement between the local unit of government and
the public utility or developer that includes provisions addressing responsibility for
maintenance, removal, and disposal of the solar energy system.
new text end

new text begin (c) The commissioner must administer an open application process under this section
at least twice annually.
new text end

new text begin (d) The commissioner must develop administrative procedures governing the application
and grant award process under this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Energy conservation review. new text end

new text begin At the commissioner's request, a local unit of
government awarded a grant under this section must provide the commissioner with
information regarding energy conservation measures implemented at the public building at
which the solar energy generating system is to be installed. The commissioner may make
recommendations to the local unit of government regarding cost-effective conservation
measures the local unit of government can implement and may provide technical assistance
and direct the local unit of government to available financial assistance programs.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 8. new text end

new text begin Technical assistance. new text end

new text begin The commissioner must provide technical assistance to
local units of government to develop and execute projects under this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 9. new text end

new text begin Grant payments. new text end

new text begin The commissioner must award a grant from the account
established under subdivision 3 to a local unit of government for the necessary and reasonable
costs associated with the purchase and installation of a solar energy system.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 10. new text end

new text begin Application deadline. new text end

new text begin An application must not be submitted under this section
after ......
new text end

new text begin Subd. 11. new text end

new text begin Reporting. new text end

new text begin Beginning January 15, 2023, and each year thereafter until January
15, ...., the commissioner must report to the chairs and ranking minority members of the
legislative committees with jurisdiction over energy finance and policy regarding grants
and amounts awarded to local units of government under this section during the previous
year and any remaining balances available in the account established under this section.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

Sec. 2. new text beginAPPROPRIATIONS.
new text end

new text begin (a) $....... in fiscal year 2023 is appropriated from the general fund to the commissioner
of commerce for deposit in the solar on public buildings grant program account for the grant
program described in Minnesota Statutes, section 216C.377. The appropriation in this
paragraph must be used only to provide grants to public buildings located outside the electric
service area of the electric utility subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 116C.779.
new text end

new text begin (b) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 116C.779, subdivision 1, paragraph
(j), $....... in fiscal year 2023 is appropriated from the renewable development account
established in Minnesota Statutes, section 116C.779, subdivision 1, to the commissioner of
commerce for deposit in the solar on public buildings grant program account for the grant
program described in Minnesota Statutes, section 216C.377. The appropriation in this
paragraph must be used only to provide grants to public buildings located within the electric
service area of the electric utility subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 116C.779.
new text end