Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 1355

as introduced - 89th Legislature (2015 - 2016) Posted on 09/10/2015 11:44am

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

Current Version - as introduced

Line numbers 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8
1.9 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14
2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27
2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 2.33 2.34
3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20
3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27
3.28 3.29 3.30 3.31 3.32 3.33 3.34 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14
4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 4.23 4.24 4.25 4.26
4.27 4.28 4.29 4.30 4.31 4.32 4.33 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 5.26 5.27 5.28 5.29 5.30
5.31 5.32

A bill for an act
relating to energy; modifying certificate of need exemptions; adding facilities
eligible for alternative review of site and route permit applications; modifying
review timelines; providing for local review; amending Minnesota Statutes 2014,
sections 216B.243, subdivision 8; 216E.03, subdivision 9; 216E.04, subdivisions
2, 7; 216F.011; 216F.04; 216F.08; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota
Statutes, chapter 216B.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 216B.243, subdivision 8, is amended to
read:


Subd. 8.

Exemptions.

This section does not apply to:

(1) cogeneration or small power production facilities as defined in the Federal Power
Act, United States Code, title 16, section 796, paragraph (17), subparagraph (A), and
paragraph (18), subparagraph (A), and having a combined capacity at a single site of less
than 80,000 kilowatts; plants or facilities for the production of ethanol or fuel alcohol; or
any case where the commission has determined after being advised by the attorney general
that its application has been preempted by federal law;

(2) a high-voltage transmission line proposed primarily to distribute electricity to
serve the demand of a single customer at a single location, unless the applicant opts to
request that the commission determine need under this section or section 216B.2425;

(3) the upgrade to a higher voltage of an existing transmission line that serves the
demand of a single customer that primarily uses existing rights-of-way, unless the applicant
opts to request that the commission determine need under this section or section 216B.2425;

(4) a high-voltage transmission line of one mile or less required to connect a new or
upgraded substation to an existing, new, or upgraded high-voltage transmission line;

(5) conversion of the fuel source of an existing electric generating plant to using
natural gas;

(6) the modification of an existing electric generating plant to increase efficiency,
as long as the capacity of the plant is not increased more than ten percent or more than
100 megawatts, whichever is greater; deleted text beginor
deleted text end

(7) a wind energy conversion system deleted text beginordeleted text endnew text begin,new text end solar electric generation facilitynew text begin, or facility
that generates electricity from natural gas
new text end if the system or facility is owned and operated
by an independent power producer and the electric output of the system or facility is not
sold to an entity that provides retail service in Minnesota or wholesale electric service to
another entity in Minnesota other than an entity that is a federally recognized regional
transmission organization or independent system operatordeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin; or
new text end

new text begin (8) high-voltage transmission lines in excess of 200 kilovolts, if the line has been
approved by a federally recognized regional transmission organization or the board of
directors of an independent system operator during the transmission planning process.
new text end

Sec. 2.

new text begin [216B.247] LARGE SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM OR LWECS
REPOWERING.
new text end

new text begin (a) A large wind energy conversion system, as defined in section 216F.01,
subdivision 2, or a solar-powered large energy facility, as defined in section 216B.2421,
subdivision 2, engaging in a repowering project that will not result in the facility exceeding
the nameplate capacity under its most recent interconnection agreement is exempt from
the certificate of need requirements under section 216B.241.
new text end

new text begin (b) A large wind energy conversion system, as defined in section 216F.01,
subdivision 2, or a solar-powered large energy facility, as defined in section 216B.2421,
subdivision 2, engaging in a repowering project that will result in the facility exceeding the
nameplate capacity under its most recent interconnection agreement is exempt from the
certificate of need requirements under section 216B.241 if the Midcontinent Independent
System Operator certifies that capacity exists to accommodate the net power increase.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 216E.03, subdivision 9, is amended to read:


Subd. 9.

Timing.

The commission shall make a final decision on an application
within 60 days after receipt of the report of the administrative law judge. A final decision
on the request for a site permit or route permit shall be made within one year after the
commission's determination that an application is complete. The commission may extend
this time limit for up to deleted text beginthree monthsdeleted text endnew text begin 30 daysnew text end for just cause or upon agreement of the
applicant.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 216E.04, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Applicable projects.

The requirements and procedures in this section
apply to the following projects:

(1) large electric power generating plants with a capacity of less than 80 megawatts;

(2) large electric power generating plants that are fueled by natural gas;

(3) high-voltage transmission lines of between 100 and 200 kilovolts;

(4) high-voltage transmission lines in excess of 200 kilovolts and less than five miles
in length in Minnesota;

(5) high-voltage transmission lines in excess of 200 kilovolts if at least 80 percent
of the distance of the line in Minnesota will be located along existing high-voltage
transmission line right-of-way;

(6) a high-voltage transmission line service extension to a single customer between
200 and 300 kilovolts and less than ten miles in length;

(7) a high-voltage transmission line rerouting to serve the demand of a single
customer when the rerouted line will be located at least 80 percent on property owned or
controlled by the customer or the owner of the transmission line; deleted text beginand
deleted text end

(8) large electric power generating plants that are powered by solar energydeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin; and
new text end

new text begin (9) high-voltage transmission lines in excess of 200 kilovolts, if the line has been
approved by a federally recognized regional transmission organization or the board of
directors of an independent system operator during the transmission planning process.
new text end

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 216E.04, subdivision 7, is amended to read:


Subd. 7.

Timing.

The commission shall make a final decision on an application
deleted text beginwithin 60 daysdeleted text end after completion of the public hearing. A final decision on the request for
a site permit or route permit under this section shall be made within six months after
the commission's determination that an application is complete. The commission may
extend this time limit for up to deleted text beginthree monthsdeleted text endnew text begin 30 daysnew text end for just cause or upon agreement of
the applicant.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 216F.011, is amended to read:


216F.011 SIZE DETERMINATION.

(a) The total size of a combination of wind energy conversion systems for the
purpose of determining what jurisdiction has siting authority under this chapter must
be determined according to this section. The nameplate capacity of one wind energy
conversion system must be combined with the nameplate capacity of any other wind
energy conversion system that:

(1) is located within five miles of the wind energy conversion system;

(2) is constructed within the same 12-month period as the wind energy conversion
system; and

(3) exhibits characteristics of being a single development, including, but not limited
to, ownership structure, an umbrella sales arrangement, shared interconnection, revenue
sharing arrangements, and common debt or equity financing.

(b) The commissioner shall provide forms and assistance for project developers to
make a request for a size determination. Upon written request of a project developer, the
commissioner of commerce shall provide a written size determination within 30 days of
receipt of the request and of any information new text beginneeded to complete the size determination
that has been
new text endrequested by the commissioner. In the case of a dispute, the chair of the
Public Utilities Commission shall make the final size determination.

(c) An application to a county for a permit under this chapter for a wind energy
conversion system is not complete without a size determination made under this section.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 216F.04, is amended to read:


216F.04 SITE PERMIT.

(a) No person may construct an LWECS without a site permit issued by the Public
Utilities Commission.

(b) Any person seeking to construct an LWECS shall submit an application to the
commission for a site permit in accordance with this chapter and any rules adopted by the
commission. The permitted site need not be contiguous land.

(c) The commission shall make a final decision on an application for a site permit for
an LWECS within 180 days after acceptance of a complete application by the commission.
The commission may extend this deadlinenew text begin by up to 30 daysnew text end for cause.

(d) The commission may place conditions in a permit and may deny, modify,
suspend, or revoke a permit.

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 216F.08, is amended to read:


216F.08 PERMIT AUTHORITY; ASSUMPTION BY COUNTIES.

(a) A county board may, by resolution and upon written notice to the Public Utilities
Commission, assume responsibility for processing applications for permits required
under this chapter for LWECS deleted text beginwith a combined nameplate capacity of less than 25,000
kilowatts
deleted text end. The responsibility for permit application processing, if assumed by a county,
may be delegated by the county board to an appropriate county officer or employee.
Processing by a county shall be done in accordance with procedures and processes
established under chapter 394.

(b) A county board that exercises its option under paragraph (a) may issue, deny,
modify, impose conditions upon, or revoke permits pursuant to this section. The action
of the county board about a permit application is final, subject to appeal as provided
in section 394.27.

(c) deleted text beginThe commission shall, by order, establish general permit standards, including
appropriate property line set-backs, governing site permits for LWECS under this section.
The order must consider existing and historic commission standards for wind permits
issued by the commission. The general permit standards shall apply to permits issued by
counties and to permits issued by the commission for LWECS with a combined nameplate
capacity of less than 25,000 kilowatts. The commission or a county may grant a variance
from a general permit standard if the variance is found to be in the public interest.
deleted text endnew text begin The
applicant shall notify the commission it has elected to seek local approval for a proposed
project within ten days of submitting an application for eligible project approval to a local
unit of government. If local approval is granted, a site or route permit is not required from
the commission. If the applicant files an application with the commission, the applicant
waives its right to seek local approval for the project.
new text end

(d) The commission and the commissioner of commerce shall provide technical
assistance to a county with respect to the processing of LWECS site permit applications.

new text begin (e) Upon receipt of an application for local approval of an eligible project under this
section, a local unit of government with jurisdiction over the project may petition the
commission to assume jurisdiction and grant or deny approval of the LWECS site permit
under the provisions of this chapter. A local unit of government must file the petition to
assume jurisdiction within 60 days of receipt of an application for project approval by any
local unit of government. If one of the local units of government having jurisdiction over
the project requests that the commission assumes jurisdiction, jurisdiction over the project
transfers to the commission. If the local unit or units of government maintain jurisdiction
over the project, the commission shall select the local unit of government responsible for
conducting the environmental review of the project.
new text end

Sec. 9. new text beginEFFECTIVE DATE.
new text end

new text begin Sections 1 to 8 are effective the day following final enactment.
new text end