as introduced - 88th Legislature (2013 - 2014) Posted on 04/01/2014 09:08am
A bill for an act
relating to energy; modifying an existing microenergy loan program to include
certain community energy projects; amending Minnesota Statutes 2012, sections
216C.145; 216C.146, subdivisions 1, 2, 3.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 216C.145, is amended to read:
(a) The definitions in this subdivision apply to this
(b) "deleted text beginSmall-scaledeleted text end Renewable energynew text beginnew text end" projects
include solar thermal water heating, solar electric or photovoltaic equipment, small
wind energy conversion systems of less than 250 kW, anaerobic digester gas systems,
microhydro systems up to 100 kW, deleted text beginanddeleted text end heating and cooling applications using new text beginnew text endgeothermal energynew text beginnew text end.
(c) "Unit of local government" means any home rule charter or statutory city, county,
commission, district, authority, or other political subdivision or instrumentality of this
state, including a sanitary district, park district, the Metropolitan Council, a port authority,
an economic development authority, or a housing and redevelopment authority.
The commissioner of commerce shall develop,
implement, and administer a microenergy new text beginnew text endloan program
under this section.
(a) The commissioner may issue low-interest, long-term
loans to units of local government to new text beginnew text endfinance community-owned or publicly owned
deleted text beginsmall scaledeleted text endnew text beginnew text end renewable energy systems or deleted text begintodeleted text endnew text beginnew text end provide loans or other aids to small businesses
to install small-scale renewable energy systemsnew text beginnew text end.
(b) The commissioner may participate in loans made by the Housing Finance
Agency to residential property owners, private developers, nonprofit organizations,
or units of local government under sections 462A.05, subdivisions 14 and 18; and
462A.33 for the construction, purchase, or rehabilitation of residential housing to facilitate
the installation of small-scale renewable energy systems in residential housing and
cost-effective energy conservation improvements identified in an energy efficiency audit.
The commissioner shall assist the Housing Finance Agency in assessing the technical
qualifications of loan applicants.
The commissioner shall determine technical
standards for small-scale renewable energy systems new text beginnew text endto qualify for loans under this section.
(a) At least once a year, the commissioner shall publish in
the State Register a request for proposals from units of local government for a loan under
this section. Within 45 days after the deadline for receipt of proposals, the commissioner
shall select proposals based on the following criteria:
(1) the reliability and cost-effectiveness of the renewable new text beginnew text endtechnology to be installed under the proposal;
(2) the extent to which the proposal effectively integrates with the conservation and
energy efficiency programs new text beginnew text endof the energy utilities serving the proposer;
(3) the total life cycle energy use and greenhouse gas emissions reductions per
dollar of installed cost;
(4) the diversity of the renewable energy new text beginnew text endtechnology installed
under the proposal;
(5) the geographic distribution of projects throughout the state;
(6) the percentage of total project cost requested;
(7) the proposed security for payback of the loan; and
(8) other criteria the commissioner may determine to be necessary and appropriate.
A loan under this section must be issued at the lowest interest
rate required to recover principal and interest plus the costs of issuing the loan, and must
be for a minimum of 15 years, unless the commissioner determines that a shorter loan
period of no less than deleted text begintendeleted text end new text beginnew text endyears is necessary and feasible.
A microenergy new text beginnew text endloan account is
established in the state treasury. Money in the account consists of the proceeds of revenue
bonds issued under section 216C.146, interest and other earnings on money in the account,
money received in repayment of loans from the account, legislative appropriations, and
money from any other source credited to the account.
Money in the account is appropriated to the commissioner
of commerce to make microenergy new text beginnew text endloans under this
section and to the commissioner of management and budget to pay debt service and other
costs under section 216C.146. Payment of debt service costs and funding reserves take
priority over use of money in the account for any other purpose.
Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 216C.146, subdivision 1, is amended to read:
(a) The commissioner of
management and budget, if requested by the commissioner of commerce, shall sell and
issue state revenue bonds for the following purposes:
(1) to make microenergy new text beginnew text endloans under section
(2) to pay the costs of issuance, debt service, and bond insurance or other credit
enhancements, and to fund reserves; and
(3) to refund bonds issued under this section.
(b) The aggregate principal amount of bonds for the purposes of paragraph (a),
clause (1), that may be outstanding at any time may not exceed new text beginnew text end$20,000,000new text beginnew text end; the principal amount of bonds
that may be issued for the purposes of paragraph (a), clauses (2) and (3), is not limited.
(c) For the purpose of this section, "commissioner" means the commissioner of
management and budget.
Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 216C.146, subdivision 2, is amended to read:
The commissioner may sell and issue the bonds on the terms and
conditions the commissioner determines to be in the best interests of the state. The bonds
may be sold at public or private sale. The commissioner may enter into any agreements or
pledges the commissioner determines necessary or useful to sell the bonds that are not
inconsistent with section 216C.145. Sections 16A.672 to 16A.675 apply to the bonds. The
proceeds of the bonds issued under this section must be credited to the microenergy new text beginnew text endloan account created under section 216C.145.
Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 216C.146, subdivision 3, is amended to read:
The debt service on the bonds is payable only from the
(1) revenue credited to the microenergy new text beginnew text endloan
account from the sources identified in section 216C.145 or from any other source; and
(2) other revenues pledged to the payment of the bonds.