CONFERENCE COMMITTEE REPORT ON S.F. No. 550
relating to energy; providing for energy conservation; regulating utility rates;
removing prohibition on issuing certificate of need for new nuclear power
plant; providing for various Legislative Energy Commission studies; regulating
utilities; amending Minnesota Statutes 2008, sections 216A.03, subdivision 6, by
adding a subdivision; 216B.16, subdivisions 2, 6c, 7b, by adding a subdivision;
216B.1645, subdivision 2a; 216B.169, subdivision 2; 216B.1691, subdivision 2a;
216B.23, by adding a subdivision; 216B.241, subdivisions 1c, 5a, 9; 216B.2411,
subdivisions 1, 2; 216B.2424, subdivision 5a; 216B.243, subdivisions 3b, 8, 9;
216C.11; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 216C;
repealing Laws 2007, chapter 3, section 3.
May 13, 2009
The Honorable James P. Metzen
President of the Senate
The Honorable Margaret Anderson Kelliher
Speaker of the House of Representatives
We, the undersigned conferees for S.F. No. 550 report that we have agreed upon the
items in dispute and recommend as follows:
That the House recede from its amendments and that S.F. No. 550 be further
amended as follows:
Delete everything after the enacting clause and insert:
"Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 116C.779, subdivision 2, is amended to
Subd. 2. Renewable energy production incentive.
(a) Until January 1,
$10,900,000 annually must be allocated from available funds in the account to
fund renewable energy production incentives. $9,400,000 of this annual amount is for
up to 200 megawatts of
electricity generated by wind energy conversion
systems that are eligible for the incentives under section
216C.41 or Laws 2005, chapter
The balance of this amount, up to $1,500,000 annually, may be used for
production incentives for on-farm biogas recovery facilities and hydroelectric facilities
that are eligible for the incentive under section
or for production incentives for
other renewables, to be provided in the same manner as under section
Any portion of the $10,900,000 not expended in any calendar year for the
incentive is available for other spending purposes under this section. This subdivision
does not create an obligation to contribute funds to the account.
The Department of Commerce shall determine eligibility of projects under
for the purposes of this subdivision. At least quarterly, the Department of
Commerce shall notify the public utility of the name and address of each eligible project
owner and the amount due to each project under section
. The public utility shall
make payments within 15 working days after receipt of notification of payments due.
Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 116C.779, is amended by adding a subdivision
2.15 Subd. 3. Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment (a) Beginning
2.16July 1, 2009, and each July 1 through 2012, $5,000,000 must be allocated from the
2.17renewable development account to fund a grant to the Board of Regents of the University
2.18of Minnesota for the Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment for the purposes
2.19described in paragraph (b). The Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment
2.20must set aside at least 15 percent of the funds received annually under the grant for
2.21qualified projects conducted at a rural campus or experiment station. Any set-aside funds
2.22not awarded to a rural campus or experiment station at the end of the fiscal year revert
2.23back to the Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment for its exclusive use.
2.24This subdivision does not create an obligation to contribute funds to the account.
2.25(b) Activities funded under this grant may include, but are not limited to:
2.26(1) environmentally sound production of energy from a renewable energy source,
2.27including biomass and agricultural crops;
2.28(2) environmentally sound production of hydrogen from biomass and any other
2.29renewable energy source for energy storage and energy utilization;
2.30(3) development of energy conservation and efficient energy utilization technologies;
2.31(4) energy storage technologies; and
2.32(5) analysis of policy options to facilitate adoption of technologies that use or
2.33produce low-carbon renewable energy.
2.34(c) For the purposes of this subdivision:
2.35(1) "biomass" means plant and animal material, agricultural and forest residues,
2.36mixed municipal solid waste, and sludge from wastewater treatment; and
3.1(2) "renewable energy source" means hydro, wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal
3.2energy, and microorganisms used as an energy source.
3.3(d) Beginning January 15 of 2010, and each year thereafter, the director of the
3.4Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment at the University of Minnesota shall
3.5submit a report to the chair and ranking minority members of the senate and house of
3.6representatives committees with primary jurisdiction over energy finance describing the
3.7activities conducted during the previous year funded under this subdivision.
3.8EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 117.189, is amended to read:
3.10117.189 PUBLIC SERVICE CORPORATION EXCEPTIONS.
, subdivision 2, paragraph (b);
, subdivisions 1a and 4, do not apply to public service corporations.
For purposes of an award of appraisal fees under section
, the fees awarded may
for all types of property except for a public service corporation's
3.15use of eminent domain for a high-voltage transmission line, where the award may not
3.17EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 4. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 216A.03, subdivision 6, is amended to read:
Subd. 6. Record of proceedings.
An audio magnetic or audio electronic
device shall be used to keep a record of all proceedings before the commission
3.21 commission provides a hearing reporter to record the proceeding
3.22EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 5. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 216A.03, is amended by adding a subdivision
3.25 Subd. 6a. Hearing reporter. The commission may delegate to the executive
3.26secretary authority to require hearing reporter services. The cost of hearing reporter
3.27services must be borne by the utility, telephone company, or telecommunications carrier
3.28that is the subject of the proceeding. If more than one company is the subject of a
3.29proceeding, the commission or, if the commission so delegates, the executive secretary,
3.30shall determine how the hearing reporter costs are to be allocated for the proceeding.
3.31EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 6. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 216B.16, subdivision 2, is amended to read:
Subd. 2. Suspension of proposed rate; hearing; final determination defined.
Whenever there is filed with the commission a schedule modifying or resulting in a change
in any rates then in force as provided in subdivision 1, the commission may suspend the
operation of the schedule by filing with the schedule of rates and delivering to the affected
utility a statement in writing of its reasons for the suspension at any time before the rates
become effective. The suspension shall not be for a longer period than ten months beyond
the initial filing date except as provided in this subdivision or subdivision 1a.
(b) During the suspension the commission shall determine whether all questions of
the reasonableness of the rates requested raised by persons deemed interested or by the
department can be resolved to the satisfaction of the commission. If the commission
finds that all significant issues raised have not been resolved to its satisfaction, or upon
petition by ten percent of the affected customers or 250 affected customers, whichever is
less, it shall refer the matter to the Office of Administrative Hearings with instructions
for a public hearing as a contested case pursuant to chapter 14, except as otherwise
provided in this section.
(c) The commission may order that the issues presented by the proposed rate
changes be bifurcated into two separate hearings as follows: (1) determination of the
utility's revenue requirements and (2) determination of the rate design. Upon issuance of
both administrative law judge reports, the issues shall again be joined for consideration
and final determination by the commission.
(d) All prehearing discovery activities of state agency intervenors shall be
consolidated and conducted by the Department of Commerce.
(e) If the commission does not make a final determination concerning a schedule of
rates within ten months after the initial filing date, the schedule shall be deemed to have
been approved by the commission; except if:
(1) an extension of the procedural schedule has been granted under paragraph (f) or
subdivision 1a, in which case the schedule of rates is deemed to have been approved by
the commission on the last day of the extended period of suspension; or
(2) a settlement has been submitted to and rejected by the commission and the
commission does not make a final determination concerning the schedule of rates, the
schedule of rates is deemed to have been approved 60 days after the initial or, if applicable,
the extended period of suspension.
(f) If the commission finds that it has insufficient time during the suspension period
to make a final determination of a case involving changes in general rates because of the
need to make a final determination of
another previously filed any pending
changes in general rates under this section or section
, the commission may extend
the suspension period to
the extent necessary to allow itself 20 working days to allow up
5.2to a total of 90 additional calendar days to
make the final determination
after it has made a
5.3 final determination in the previously filed case
. An extension of the suspension period
under this paragraph does not alter the setting of interim rates under subdivision 3.
(g) For the purposes of this section, "final determination" means the initial decision
of the commission and not any order which may be entered by the commission in response
to a petition for rehearing or other further relief. The commission may further suspend
rates until it determines all those petitions.
5.9EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 7. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 216B.16, subdivision 6c, is amended to read:
Subd. 6c. Incentive plan for energy conservation improvement.
commission may order public utilities to develop and submit for commission approval
incentive plans that describe the method of recovery and accounting for utility
conservation expenditures and savings. In developing the incentive plans the commission
shall ensure the effective involvement of interested parties.
(b) In approving incentive plans, the commission shall consider:
(1) whether the plan is likely to increase utility investment in cost-effective energy
(2) whether the plan is compatible with the interest of utility ratepayers and other
(3) whether the plan links the incentive to the utility's performance in achieving
cost-effective conservation; and
(4) whether the plan is in conflict with other provisions of this chapter.
(c) The commission may set rates to encourage the vigorous and effective
implementation of utility conservation programs. The commission may:
(1) increase or decrease any otherwise allowed rate of return on net investment based
upon the utility's skill, efforts, and success in conserving energy;
(2) share between ratepayers and utilities the net savings resulting from energy
conservation programs to the extent justified by the utility's skill, efforts, and success in
conserving energy; and
compensate the utility for earnings lost as a result of its conservation
5.32 programs adopt any mechanism that satisfies the criteria of this subdivision, such that
5.33implementation of cost-effective conservation is a preferred resource choice for the public
5.34utility considering the impact of conservation on earnings of the public utility
5.35EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 8. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 216B.16, subdivision 7b, is amended to read:
Subd. 7b. Transmission cost adjustment.
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision
of this chapter, the commission may approve a tariff mechanism for the automatic annual
adjustment of charges for the Minnesota jurisdictional costs of (i) new transmission
facilities that have been separately filed and reviewed and approved by the commission
are certified as a priority project or deemed to be a priority
transmission project under section
; and (ii) charges incurred by a utility that
accrue from other transmission owners' regionally planned transmission projects that have
been determined by the Midwest Independent System Operator to benefit the utility, as
provided for under a federally approved tariff.
(b) Upon filing by a public utility or utilities providing transmission service, the
commission may approve, reject, or modify, after notice and comment, a tariff that:
(1) allows the utility to recover on a timely basis the costs net of revenues of
facilities approved under section
or certified or deemed to be certified under
or exempt from the requirements of section
(2) allows the charges incurred by a utility that accrue from other transmission
owners' regionally planned transmission projects that have been determined by the
Midwest Independent System Operator to benefit the utility, as provided for under a
federally approved tariff. These charges must be reduced or offset by revenues received
by the utility and by amounts the utility charges to other regional transmission owners, to
the extent those revenues and charges have not been otherwise offset;
(3) allows a return on investment at the level approved in the utility's last general
rate case, unless a different return is found to be consistent with the public interest;
(4) provides a current return on construction work in progress, provided that
recovery from Minnesota retail customers for the allowance for funds used during
construction is not sought through any other mechanism;
(5) allows for recovery of other expenses if shown to promote a least-cost project
option or is otherwise in the public interest;
(6) allocates project costs appropriately between wholesale and retail customers;
(7) provides a mechanism for recovery above cost, if necessary to improve the
overall economics of the project or projects or is otherwise in the public interest; and
(8) terminates recovery once costs have been fully recovered or have otherwise
been reflected in the utility's general rates.
(c) A public utility may file annual rate adjustments to be applied to customer bills
paid under the tariff approved in paragraph (b). In its filing, the public utility shall provide:
(1) a description of and context for the facilities included for recovery;
(2) a schedule for implementation of applicable projects;
(3) the utility's costs for these projects;
(4) a description of the utility's efforts to ensure the lowest costs to ratepayers for
the project; and
(5) calculations to establish that the rate adjustment is consistent with the terms
of the tariff established in paragraph (b).
(d) Upon receiving a filing for a rate adjustment pursuant to the tariff established in
paragraph (b), the commission shall approve the annual rate adjustments provided that,
after notice and comment, the costs included for recovery through the tariff were or are
expected to be prudently incurred and achieve transmission system improvements at the
lowest feasible and prudent cost to ratepayers.
7.12EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 9. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 216B.16, is amended by adding a subdivision
7.15 Subd. 7d. Central Corridor utility zone cost adjustment. (a) The Central
7.16Corridor utility zone is the area extending from the Union Depot Station in St. Paul to the
7.17proposed multimodal station in Minneapolis along the route of the light rail transit project
7.18connecting those two points, and an area extending approximately one-quarter mile from
7.19that route and including the entire University of Minnesota, Minneapolis campus.
7.20(b) A public utility that provides retail electric service within the Central Corridor
7.21utility zone and that is required to replace, relocate, construct, or install new facilities,
7.22may apply to the commission for approval of new facilities in the Central Corridor
7.23utility zone and facilities outside the zone that the utility demonstrates must be changed
7.24as a direct result of changes within the zone. Facilities proposed under this subdivision
7.25may include transmission facilities, distribution facilities, generation facilities, advanced
7.26technology-assisted efficiency devices, and energy storage facilities not otherwise subject
7.27to section 216B.243, or chapter 216E, 216F, or 216G. Upon approval under paragraph (c),
7.28the utility may construct and install the facilities.
7.29(c) The commission may approve the construction and installation of facilities in
7.30the Central Corridor mass transit utility zone proposed by a utility under paragraph (b)
7.31upon a finding:
7.32(1) that the facilities:
7.33(i) are necessary to provide electric service;
7.34(ii) assist future development of renewable energy, conservation, electric vehicles,
7.35and advanced technology-assisted efficiency programs and devices; or
8.1(iii) are exploratory, experimental, or research facilities to advance the use of
8.2renewable energy, conservation, electric vehicles, and advanced technology-assisted
8.3efficiency programs and devices;
8.4(2) that the utility has engaged in a cooperative process with affected local and state
8.5government agencies in the design, planning, or construction of the Central Corridor
8.6utility zone project and changes to utility facilities;
8.7(3) that the utility and local units of government have made reasonable efforts to seek
8.8federal, state, or private funds that may be available to mass transit and energy projects;
8.9(4) that the utility has made reasonable efforts to minimize the project costs and
8.10maximize the value of the facilities to customers;
8.11(5) that the utility has a plan to offer a comprehensive array of programs for
8.12residential, commercial, and industrial customers located within the mass transit zone;
8.13(6) that the utility direct existing and planned solar energy programs to develop solar
8.14energy along the mass transit utility zone; and
8.15(7) that the utility has made reasonable efforts to apply for federal funds to develop
8.16technology-assisted efficiency programs and devices within the mass transit utility zone.
8.17(d) Upon request of the commission, the utility shall submit periodic reports to
8.18the commission reviewing the cost and benefits of the facilities constructed within the
8.19Central Corridor utility zone and their potential applicability to other areas outside the
8.20Central Corridor utility zone.
8.21(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the commission may approve
8.22a tariff mechanism for automatic adjustment of charges for new, replaced, or relocated
8.23facilities installed under this subdivision in a manner consistent with this subdivision and
8.24the standards and procedures contained in subdivision 7b, except that no approval under
8.25section 216B.243 or certification under section 216B.2425 is required unless otherwise
8.26required by law. This section does not authorize a city-requested facilities surcharge.
8.27(f) For the purpose of this subdivision, "technology-assisted efficiency programs and
8.28devices" includes, but is not limited to, infrastructure that integrates digital information and
8.29controls technology to improve the reliability, security, and efficiency of the electric grid.
8.30EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 10. [216B.1613] STANDARDIZED CONTRACT.
8.32Within 60 days of the effective date of this section, each utility, as defined in section
8.33216B.1691, subdivision 1, paragraph (b), shall file with the commission a standardized
8.34contract form for the purchase of electricity from projects with a nameplate capacity
8.35of 5 megawatts or less. The standardized contract form must be similar in all material
8.36respects to the standard contract form previously filed with the commission under
9.1section 216B.2423, subdivision 3, including any revisions to that contract on file with
9.2the commission as of the effective date of this section. After consultation with wind
9.3developers and producers, a utility governed by this section may modify the standardized
9.4contract currently on file under section 216B.2423 prior to submitting its standard contract
9.5form under this section if the modifications are reasonably necessary to account for
9.6circumstances that are unique to that particular utility. The commission shall not approve
9.7a contract that is not in compliance with this section.
9.8EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 11. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 216B.1645, subdivision 2a, is amended to
Subd. 2a. Cost recovery for utility's renewable facilities.
(a) A utility may petition
the commission to approve a rate schedule that provides for the automatic adjustment of
charges to recover prudently incurred investments, expenses, or costs associated with
facilities constructed, owned, or operated by a utility to satisfy the requirements of section
, provided those facilities were previously approved by the commission under
section 216B.2422 or
, or were determined by the commission to be reasonable
and prudent under section 216B.243, subdivision 9. For facilities not subject to review
9.18by the commission under section 216B.2422 or 216B.243, a utility shall petition the
9.19commission for eligibility for cost recovery under this section prior to requesting cost
9.20recovery for the facility.
The commission may approve, or approve as modified, a rate
(1) allows a utility to recover directly from customers on a timely basis the costs of
qualifying renewable energy projects, including:
(i) return on investment;
(iii) ongoing operation and maintenance costs;
(iv) taxes; and
(v) costs of transmission and other ancillary expenses directly allocable to
transmitting electricity generated from a project meeting the specifications of this
(2) provides a current return on construction work in progress, provided that recovery
of these costs from Minnesota ratepayers is not sought through any other mechanism;
(3) allows recovery of other expenses incurred that are directly related to a
renewable energy project, including expenses for energy storage, provided that the
utility demonstrates to the commission's satisfaction that the expenses improve project
economics, ensure project implementation, advance research and understanding of how
10.2storage devices may improve renewable energy projects,
or facilitate coordination with
the development of transmission necessary to transport energy produced by the project
(4) allocates recoverable costs appropriately between wholesale and retail customers;
(5) terminates recovery when costs have been fully recovered or have otherwise
been reflected in a utility's rates.
(b) A petition filed under this subdivision must include:
(1) a description of the facilities for which costs are to be recovered;
(2) an implementation schedule for the facilities;
(3) the utility's costs for the facilities;
(4) a description of the utility's efforts to ensure that costs of the facilities are
reasonable and were prudently incurred; and
(5) a description of the benefits of the project in promoting the development of
renewable energy in a manner consistent with this chapter.
Sec. 12. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 216B.169, subdivision 2, is amended to read:
Subd. 2. Renewable and high-efficiency energy rate options.
offer its customers
, and shall advertise the offer at least annually,
one or more options that allow a customer to determine that a certain amount of the
electricity generated or purchased on behalf of the customer is renewable energy or energy
generated by high-efficiency, low-emissions, distributed generation such as fuel cells and
microturbines fueled by a renewable fuel.
(b) Each public utility shall file an implementation plan within 90 days of July 1,
10.24 2001, to implement paragraph (a).
10.25 (c) (b)
Rates charged to customers must be calculated using the utility's cost of
acquiring the energy for the customer and must:
(1) reflect the difference between the cost of generating or purchasing the
energy and the cost of generating or purchasing the same amount
10.29 of nonrenewable
energy and the cost that would otherwise be attributed to the customer
10.30for the same amount of energy based on the utility's mix of renewable and nonrenewable
(2) be distributed on a per kilowatt-hour basis among all customers who choose to
participate in the program.
(d) Implementation of these rate options may reflect a reasonable amount of lead
10.35 time necessary to arrange acquisition of the energy. (c)
The utility may acquire the
energy demanded by customers, in whole or in part, through procuring or generating the
renewable energy directly, or through the purchase of credits from a provider that has
received certification of eligible power supply pursuant to subdivision 3.
If a utility is not
11.3 able to arrange an adequate supply of renewable or high-efficiency energy to meet its
11.4 customers' demand under this section, the utility must file a report with the commission
11.5 detailing its efforts and reasons for its failure.
11.6(d) For the purposes of this section, "renewable energy" has the meaning given to
11.7"eligible energy technology" in section 216B.1691, subdivision 1, paragraph (a), but
11.8does not include energy recovered from combustion of mixed municipal solid waste or
11.9refuse-derived fuel from mixed municipal solid waste.
Sec. 13. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 216B.1691, subdivision 2a, is amended to
Subd. 2a. Eligible energy technology standard.
(a) Except as provided in
paragraph (b), each electric utility shall generate or procure sufficient electricity generated
by an eligible energy technology to provide its retail customers in Minnesota, or the
retail customers of a distribution utility to which the electric utility provides wholesale
electric service, so that at least the following standard percentages of the electric utility's
total retail electric sales to retail customers in Minnesota are generated by eligible energy
technologies by the end of the year indicated:
(b) An electric utility that owned a nuclear generating facility as of January 1, 2007,
must meet the requirements of this paragraph rather than paragraph (a). An electric utility
subject to this paragraph must generate or procure sufficient electricity generated by
an eligible energy technology to provide its retail customers in Minnesota or the retail
customer of a distribution utility to which the electric utility provides wholesale electric
service so that at least the following percentages of the electric utility's total retail electric
sales to retail customers in Minnesota are generated by eligible energy technologies by the
end of the year indicated:
Of the 30 percent in 2020, at least 25 percent must be generated by solar energy or
wind energy conversion systems and the remaining five percent by other eligible energy
technology. Of the 25 percent that must be generated by wind or solar, no more than
12.6one percent may be solar generated and the remaining 24 percent or greater must be
12.8EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 14. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 216B.23, is amended by adding a
subdivision to read:
12.11 Subd. 1a. Authority to issue refund. (a) On determining that a public utility has
12.12charged a rate in violation of this chapter, a commission rule, or a commission order, the
12.13commission, after conducting a proceeding, may require the public utility to refund to its
12.14customers, in a manner approved by the commission, any revenues the commission finds
12.15were collected as a result of the unlawful conduct. Any refund authorized by this section
12.16is permitted in addition to any remedies authorized by section 216B.16 or any other law
12.17governing rates. Exercising authority under this section does not preclude the commission
12.18from pursuing penalties under sections 216B.57 to 216B.61 for the same conduct.
12.19(b) This section must not be construed as allowing:
12.20(1) retroactive ratemaking;
12.21(2) refunds based on claims that prior or current approved rates have been unjust,
12.22unreasonable, unreasonably preferential, discriminatory, insufficient, inequitable, or
12.23inconsistent in application to a class of customers; or
12.24(3) refunds based on claims that approved rates have not encouraged energy
12.25conservation or renewable energy use, or have not furthered the goals of section 216B.164,
12.26216B.241, or 216C.05.
12.27 (c) A refund under this subdivision does not apply to revenues collected more than
12.28six years before the date of the notice of the commission proceeding required under this
12.30EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 15. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 216B.241, subdivision 1c, is amended to
Subd. 1c. Energy-saving goals.
(a) The commissioner shall establish energy-saving
goals for energy conservation improvement expenditures and shall evaluate an energy
conservation improvement program on how well it meets the goals set.
(b) Each individual utility and association shall have an annual energy-savings
goal equivalent to 1.5 percent of gross annual retail energy sales unless modified by the
commissioner under paragraph (d). The savings goals must be calculated based on the
most recent three-year weather normalized average. A utility or association may elect to
13.8carry forward energy savings in excess of 1.5 percent for a year to the succeeding three
13.9calendar years, except that savings from electric utility infrastructure projects allowed
13.10under paragraph (d) may be carried forward for five years. A particular energy savings can
13.11be used only for one year's goal.
(c) The commissioner must adopt a filing schedule that is designed to have all
utilities and associations operating under an energy-savings plan by calendar year 2010.
(d) In its energy conservation improvement plan filing, a utility or association may
request the commissioner to adjust its annual energy-savings percentage goal based on
its historical conservation investment experience, customer class makeup, load growth,
a conservation potential study, or other factors the commissioner determines warrants
an adjustment. The commissioner may not approve a plan that provides for an annual
energy-savings goal of less than one percent of gross annual retail energy sales from
energy conservation improvements.
A utility or association may include in its energy conservation plan energy savings
from electric utility infrastructure projects approved by the commission under section
or waste heat recovery converted into electricity projects that may count as
energy savings in addition to the minimum energy-savings goal of at least one percent for
energy conservation improvements. Electric utility infrastructure projects must result in
increased energy efficiency greater than that which would have occurred through normal
(e) An energy-savings goal is not satisfied by attaining the revenue expenditure
requirements of subdivisions 1a and 1b, but can only be satisfied by meeting the
energy-savings goal established in this subdivision.
(f) An association or utility is not required to make energy conservation investments
to attain the energy-savings goals of this subdivision that are not cost-effective even
if the investment is necessary to attain the energy-savings goals. For the purpose of
this paragraph, in determining cost-effectiveness, the commissioner shall consider the
costs and benefits to ratepayers, the utility, participants, and society. In addition, the
commissioner shall consider the rate at which an association or municipal utility is
increasing its energy savings and its expenditures on energy conservation.
(g) On an annual basis, the commissioner shall produce and make publicly available
a report on the annual energy savings and estimated carbon dioxide reductions achieved
by the energy conservation improvement programs for the two most recent years for
which data is available. The commissioner shall report on program performance both in
the aggregate and for each entity filing an energy conservation improvement plan for
approval or review by the commissioner.
(h) By January 15, 2010, the commissioner shall report to the legislature whether
the spending requirements under subdivisions 1a and 1b are necessary to achieve the
energy-savings goals established in this subdivision.
14.12EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 16. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 216B.241, subdivision 5a, is amended to
Subd. 5a. Qualifying solar energy project.
(a) A utility or association may include
in its conservation plan programs for the installation of qualifying solar energy projects as
defined by section
to the extent of the spending allowed for generation projects
. The cost-effectiveness of a qualifying solar energy project may
be determined by a different standard than for other energy conservation improvements
under this section if the commissioner determines it is in the public interest to do so to
encourage solar energy projects. Energy savings from qualifying solar energy projects
may not be counted toward the minimum energy-savings goal of at least one percent
for energy conservation improvements required under subdivision 1c, but may, if the
conservation plan is approved:
(1) be counted toward energy savings above that minimum percentage; and
considered when establishing performance incentives under section
14.27 subdivision 2c eligible for a performance incentive under section 216B.16, subdivision 6c,
14.28or 216B.241, subdivision 2c, that is distinct from the incentive for energy conservation
14.29and is based on the competitiveness and cost-effectiveness of solar projects in relation to
14.30other potential solar projects available to the utility
(b) Qualifying solar energy projects may not be considered when establishing
demand-side management targets under section
, or any other
section of this chapter.
14.34EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 17. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 216B.241, is amended by adding a
subdivision to read:
15.3 Subd. 5b. Biomethane purchases. (a) A natural gas utility may include in its
15.4conservation plan purchases of biomethane, and may use up to five percent of the total
15.5amount to be spent on energy conservation improvements under this section for that
15.6purpose. The cost-effectiveness of biomethane purchases may be determined by a
15.7different standard than for other energy conservation improvements under this section if
15.8the commissioner determines that doing so is in the public interest in order to encourage
15.9biomethane purchases. Energy savings from purchasing biomethane may not be counted
15.10toward the minimum energy-savings goal of at least one percent for energy conservation
15.11improvements required under subdivision 1c, but may, if the conservation plan is approved:
15.12(1) be counted toward energy savings above that minimum percentage; and
15.13(2) be considered when establishing performance incentives under subdivision 2c.
15.14(b) For the purposes of this subdivision, "biomethane" means biogas produced
15.15through anaerobic digestion of biomass, gasification of biomass, or other effective
15.16conversion processes, that is cleaned and purified into biomethane that meets natural gas
15.17utility quality specifications for use in a natural gas utility distribution system.
15.18EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 18. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 216B.241, subdivision 9, is amended to read:
Subd. 9. Building performance standards; Sustainable Building 2030.
purpose of this subdivision is to establish cost-effective energy-efficiency performance
standards for new and substantially reconstructed commercial, industrial, and institutional
buildings that can significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions by lowering energy use in
new and substantially reconstructed buildings. For the purposes of this subdivision, the
establishment of these standards may be referred to as Sustainable Building 2030.
(b) The commissioner shall contract with the Center for Sustainable Building
Research at the University of Minnesota to coordinate development and implementation
of energy-efficiency performance standards, strategic planning, research, data analysis,
technology transfer, training, and other activities related to the purpose of Sustainable
Building 2030. The commissioner and the Center for Sustainable Building Research
shall, in consultation with utilities, builders, developers, building operators, and experts
in building design and technology, develop a Sustainable Building 2030 implementation
plan that must address, at a minimum, the following issues:
(1) training architects to incorporate the performance standards in building design;
(2) incorporating the performance standards in utility conservation improvement
(3) developing procedures for ongoing monitoring of energy use in buildings that
have adopted the performance standards.
The plan must be submitted to the chairs and ranking minority members of the senate and
house of representatives committees with primary jurisdiction over energy policy by
July 1, 2009.
(c) Sustainable Building 2030 energy-efficiency performance standards must be firm,
quantitative measures of total building energy use and associated carbon dioxide emissions
per square foot for different building types and uses, that allow for accurate determinations
of a building's conformance with a performance standard. The energy-efficiency
performance standards must be updated every three or five years to incorporate all
cost-effective measures. The performance standards must reflect the reductions in carbon
dioxide emissions per square foot resulting from actions taken by utilities to comply
with the renewable energy standards in section
. The performance standards
should be designed to achieve reductions equivalent to the following reduction schedule,
measured against energy consumption by an average building in each applicable building
sector in 2003: (1) 60 percent in 2010; (2) 70 percent in 2015; (3) 80 percent in 2020;
and (4) 90 percent in 2025. A performance standard must not be established or increased
absent a conclusive engineering analysis that it is cost-effective based upon established
practices used in evaluating utility conservation improvement programs.
(d) The annual amount of the contract with the Center for Sustainable Building
Research is up to $500,000. The Center for Sustainable Building Research shall expend
no more than $150,000 of this amount each year on administration, coordination, and
oversight activities related to Sustainable Building 2030. The balance of contract funds
must be spent on substantive programmatic activities allowed under this subdivision that
16.27may be conducted by the Center for Sustainable Building Research and others, and
subcontracts with not-for-profit energy organizations, architecture and engineering firms,
and other qualified entities to undertake technical projects and activities in support of
Sustainable Building 2030. The primary work to be accomplished each year by qualified
technical experts under subcontracts is the development and thorough justification of
recommendations for specific energy-efficiency performance standards. Additional work
(1) research, development, and demonstration of new energy-efficiency technologies
and techniques suitable for commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings;
(2) analysis and evaluation of practices in building design, construction,
commissioning and operations, and analysis and evaluation of energy use in the
commercial, industrial, and institutional sectors;
(3) analysis and evaluation of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of Sustainable
Building 2030 performance standards, conservation improvement programs, and building
(4) development and delivery of training programs for architects, engineers,
commissioning agents, technicians, contractors, equipment suppliers, developers, and
others in the building industries; and
(5) analyze and evaluate the effect of building operations on energy use.
(e) The commissioner shall require utilities to develop and implement conservation
improvement programs that are expressly designed to achieve energy efficiency goals
consistent with the Sustainable Building 2030 performance standards. These programs
must include offerings of design assistance and modeling, financial incentives, and the
verification of the proper installation of energy-efficient design components in new and
substantially reconstructed buildings. A utility's design assistance program must consider
17.17the strategic planting of trees and shrubs around buildings as an energy conservation
17.18strategy for the designed project.
A utility making an expenditure under its conservation
improvement program that results in a building meeting the Sustainable Building 2030
performance standards may claim the energy savings toward its energy-savings goal
established in subdivision 1c.
(f) The commissioner shall report to the legislature every three years, beginning
January 15, 2010, on the cost-effectiveness and progress of implementing the Sustainable
Building 2030 performance standards and shall make recommendations on the need to
continue the program as described in this section.
17.26EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 19. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 216B.2411, subdivision 1, is amended to
Subdivision 1. Generation projects.
(a) Any municipality or rural electric
association providing electric service and subject to section
may, and each
public utility may, use five percent of the total amount to be spent on energy conservation
improvements under section
(1) projects in Minnesota to construct an electric generating facility that utilizes
eligible renewable energy sources as defined in subdivision 2, such as methane or other
combustible gases derived from the processing of plant or animal wastes, biomass fuels
such as short-rotation woody or fibrous agricultural crops, or other renewable fuel, as
its primary fuel source;
(2) projects in Minnesota to install a distributed generation facility of ten megawatts
or less of interconnected capacity that is fueled by natural gas, renewable fuels, or another
similarly clean fuel; or
(3) projects in Minnesota to install a qualifying solar energy project as defined in
(b) A municipality, rural electric association, or public utility that offers a program
18.9to customers to promote installing qualifying solar energy projects may request authority
18.10from the commissioner to exceed the five percent limit in paragraph (a), but not to
18.11exceed ten percent, to meet customer demand for installation of qualifying solar energy
18.12projects. In considering this request, the commissioner shall consider customer interest in
18.13qualifying solar energy and the impact on other customers. A municipality, rural electric
18.14association, or public utility may not participate in a qualifying solar energy project on
18.15a property unless it is provided evidence that all reasonable cost-effective conservation
18.16investments have previously been made to the property.
For public utilities, as defined under section
216B.02, subdivision 4 , (c) For a
18.18municipality, rural electric association, or public utility,
projects under this section must
be considered energy conservation improvements as defined in section
18.20 cooperative electric associations and municipal utilities, projects under this section must
18.21 be considered load-management activities described in section
216B.241, subdivision 1 .
Sec. 20. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 216B.2411, subdivision 2, is amended to
Subd. 2. Definitions.
(a) For the purposes of this section, the terms defined in this
subdivision and section
216B.241, subdivision 1
, have the meanings given them.
(b) "Eligible renewable energy sources" means fuels and technologies to generate
electricity through the use of any of the resources listed in section
, paragraph (a), except that the incineration of wastewater sludge is not an eligible
renewable energy source, "biomass" has the meaning provided under paragraph (c), and
"solar" must be from a qualified solar energy project as defined in paragraph (d).
(c) "Biomass" includes:
(1) methane or other combustible gases derived from the processing of plant or
(2) alternative fuels derived from soybean and other agricultural plant oils or animal
(3) combustion of barley hulls, corn, soy-based products, or other agricultural
(4) wood residue from the wood products industry in Minnesota or other wood
products such as short-rotation woody or fibrous agricultural crops;
(5) landfill gas;
(6) the predominantly organic components of wastewater effluent, sludge, or related
byproducts from publicly owned treatment works; and
(7) mixed municipal solid waste, and refuse-derived fuel from mixed municipal
(d) "Qualifying solar energy project" means a qualifying solar thermal project or
qualifying solar electric project.
(e) "Qualifying solar thermal project" means a flat plate or evacuated tube that meets
the requirements of section
with a fixed orientation that collects the sun's radiant
energy and transfers it to a storage medium for distribution as energy to heat or cool air or
water, but does not include equipment used to heat water at a residential property (1) for
domestic use if less than one-half of the energy used for that purpose is derived from the
sun or (2) for use in a hot tub or swimming pool.
(f) "Qualifying solar electric project" means:
solar electric equipment that: (i)
meets the requirements of section
with a total; (ii) has a
peak generating capacity of 100 kilowatts or less; and (iii) is
for generating to generate
for use in a residential
19.22 small business to reduce the effective electric load for that residence or small business,
19.23commercial, or publicly owned property or facility; and
19.24(2) if applicable, equipment that is used to store the electricity generated by a
19.25qualified solar electric project under clause (1) and that is located proximate to the
19.26property or facility using the electricity
(g) "Residential property" means the principal residence of a homeowner at the time
the solar equipment is placed in service.
(h) "Small business" has the meaning given to it in section
19.30EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 21. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 216B.2412, subdivision 2, is amended to
Subd. 2. Decoupling criteria.
The commission shall, by order, establish criteria and
standards for decoupling. The commission may establish these criteria and standards in
19.35a separate proceeding or in a general rate case or other proceeding in which it approves
20.1a pilot program, and
shall design the criteria and standards to mitigate the impact on
public utilities of the energy-savings goals under section
affecting utility ratepayers. In designing the criteria, the commission shall consider energy
efficiency, weather, and cost of capital, among other factors.
20.5EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 22. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 216B.2424, subdivision 5a, is amended to
Subd. 5a. Reduction of biomass mandate.
(a) Notwithstanding subdivision 5, the
biomass electric energy mandate must be reduced from 125 megawatts to 110 megawatts.
(b) The Public Utilities Commission shall approve a request pending before the
commission as of May 15, 2003, for amendments to and assignment of a power purchase
agreement with the owner of a facility that uses short-rotation, woody crops as its primary
fuel previously approved to satisfy a portion of the biomass mandate if the owner of
the project agrees to reduce the size of its project from 50 megawatts to 35 megawatts,
while maintaining an average price for energy in nominal dollars measured over the term
of the power purchase agreement at or below $104 per megawatt-hour, exclusive of any
price adjustments that may take effect subsequent to commission approval of the power
purchase agreement, as amended. The commission shall also approve, as necessary, any
subsequent assignment or sale of the power purchase agreement or ownership of the
project to an entity owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by two municipal utilities
located north of Constitutional Route No. 8, as described in section
currently own electric and steam generation facilities using coal as a fuel and which
propose to retrofit their existing municipal electrical generating facilities to utilize biomass
fuels in order to perform the power purchase agreement.
(c) If the power purchase agreement described in paragraph (b) is assigned to an
entity that is, or becomes, owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by two municipal
entities as described in paragraph (b), and the power purchase agreement meets the
price requirements of paragraph (b), the commission shall approve any amendments to
the power purchase agreement necessary to reflect the changes in project location and
ownership and any other amendments made necessary by those changes. The commission
shall also specifically find that:
(1) the power purchase agreement complies with and fully satisfies the provisions of
this section to the full extent of its 35-megawatt capacity;
(2) all costs incurred by the public utility and all amounts to be paid by the public
utility to the project owner under the terms of the power purchase agreement are fully
recoverable pursuant to section
(3) subject to prudency review by the commission, the public utility may recover
from its Minnesota retail customers the Minnesota jurisdictional portion of the amounts
that may be incurred and paid by the public utility during the full term of the power
purchase agreement; and
(4) if the purchase power agreement meets the requirements of this subdivision,
it is reasonable and in the public interest.
(d) The commission shall specifically approve recovery by the public utility of
any and all Minnesota jurisdictional costs incurred by the public utility to improve,
construct, install, or upgrade transmission, distribution, or other electrical facilities owned
by the public utility or other persons in order to permit interconnection of the retrofitted
biomass-fueled generating facilities or to obtain transmission service for the energy
provided by the facilities to the public utility pursuant to section
, and shall
disapprove any provision in the power purchase agreement that requires the developer
or owner of the project to pay the jurisdictional costs or that permit the public utility to
terminate the power purchase agreement as a result of the existence of those costs or the
public utility's obligation to pay any or all of those costs.
21.20(e) Upon request by the project owner, the public utility shall agree to amend the
21.21power purchase agreement described in paragraph (b) and approved by the commission
21.22as required by paragraph (c). The amendment must be negotiated and executed within
21.2345 days of the effective date of this section and must apply to prices paid after January
21.241, 2009. The average price for energy in nominal dollars measured over the term of the
21.25power purchase agreement must not exceed $104 per megawatt hour by more than five
21.26percent. The public utility shall request approval of the amendment by the commission
21.27within 30 days of execution of the amended power purchase agreement. The amendment
21.28is not effective until approval by the commission. The commission shall act on the
21.29amendment within 90 days of submission of the request by the public utility. Upon
21.30approval of the amended power purchase agreement, the commission shall allow the
21.31public utility to recover the costs of the amended power purchase agreement, as provided
21.32in section 216B.1645.
21.33EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 23. Minnesota Statutes 2008, 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
(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
(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; or
(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
22.21 (7) a large energy facility that (i) generates electricity from wind energy conversion
22.22 systems, (ii) will serve retail customers in Minnesota, (iii) is specifically intended to be
22.23 used to meet the renewable energy objective under section
216B.1691 or addresses a
22.24 resource need identified in a current commission-approved or commission-reviewed
22.25 resource plan under section
216B.2422 , and (iv) derives at least ten percent of the total
22.26 nameplate capacity of the proposed project from one or more C-BED projects, as defined
22.27 under section
216B.1612, subdivision 2, paragraph (f)
22.28EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 24. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 216B.243, subdivision 9, is amended to read:
Subd. 9. Renewable energy standard facilities.
The requirements of
not apply to a wind energy conversion system or a solar electric generation
facility that is intended to be used to meet
the obligations of section
provided that, after notice and comment, the commission determines that the facility is
a reasonable and prudent approach to meeting a utility's obligations under that section.
When making this determination, the commission
the size of the facility relative to a utility's total need for renewable resources
alternative approaches for supplying the renewable energy to be supplied by
the proposed facility
, and must consider;
the facility's ability to promote economic development, as required under section
, subdivision 9
23.6(4) the facility's ability to
maintain electric system reliability
impacts on ratepayers
other criteria as the commission may determine are relevant.
23.9EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 25. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 216B.62, subdivision 3, is amended to read:
Subd. 3. Assessing all public utilities.
The department and commission shall
quarterly, at least 30 days before the start of each quarter, estimate the total of their
expenditures in the performance of their duties relating to (1) public utilities under section
, other than amounts chargeable to public utilities
under subdivision 2
6, or 7
and (2) alternative energy engineering activity under
. The remainder, except the amount assessed against cooperatives and
municipalities for alternative energy engineering activity under subdivision 5, shall be
assessed by the commission and department to the several public utilities in proportion
to their respective gross operating revenues from retail sales of gas or electric service
within the state during the last calendar year. The assessment shall be paid into the state
treasury within 30 days after the bill has been transmitted via mail, personal delivery,
or electronic service to the several public utilities, which shall constitute notice of the
assessment and demand of payment thereof. The total amount which may be assessed to
the public utilities, under authority of this subdivision, shall not exceed one-sixth of one
percent of the total gross operating revenues of the public utilities during the calendar year
from retail sales of gas or electric service within the state. The assessment for the third
quarter of each fiscal year shall be adjusted to compensate for the amount by which actual
expenditures by the commission and department for the preceding fiscal year were more
or less than the estimated expenditures previously assessed.
23.30EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 26. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 216B.62, subdivision 4, is amended to read:
Subd. 4. Objections.
Within 30 days after the date of the transmittal of any bill as
provided by subdivisions 2
3, and 7
the public utility against which the bill has been
rendered may file with the commission objections setting out the grounds upon which it is
claimed the bill is excessive, erroneous, unlawful or invalid. The commission shall within
60 days hold a hearing and issue an order in accordance with its findings. The order shall
be appealable in the same manner as other final orders of the commission.
24.4EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 27. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 216B.62, is amended by adding a
subdivision to read:
24.7 Subd. 7. Audit investigation costs. The audit investigation account is created as a
24.8separate account in the special revenue fund in the state treasury. If the commission, in a
24.9proceeding upon its own motion, on complaint, or upon an application to it, determines
24.10that it is necessary, in order to carry out its duties imposed under this chapter or chapter
24.11216, 216A, 216E, 216F, or 216G, to conduct an investigation or audit of any public utility
24.12operations, practices, or policies requiring specialized technical professional investigative
24.13services for the inquiry, the commission may request the commissioner of commerce to
24.14seek authority from the commissioner of finance to incur costs reasonably attributable to
24.15the specialized services. If the investigation or audit is approved by the commissioner of
24.16finance, the commissioner of commerce shall carry out the investigation in the manner
24.17directed by the commission and shall render separate bills to the public utility for the
24.18costs incurred for such technical professional investigative services. The bill constitutes
24.19notice of the assessment and demand for payment. The amount assessed must be paid
24.20by the public utility to the commissioner of commerce within 30 days after the date of
24.21assessment. Money received under this subdivision must be deposited in the state treasury
24.22and credited to the audit investigation account, and is appropriated to the commissioner of
24.23commerce for the purposes of this subdivision.
24.24EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 28. [216C.054] ANNUAL TRANSMISSION ADEQUACY REPORT TO
24.27The commissioner of commerce, in consultation with the Public Utilities
24.28Commission, shall annually by January 15 submit a written report to the chairs and the
24.29ranking minority members of the legislative committees with primary jurisdiction over
24.30energy policy that contains a narrative describing what electric transmission infrastructure
24.31is needed within the state over the next 15 years and what specific progress is being
24.32made to meet that need. To the extent possible, the report must contain a description
24.33of specific transmission needs and the current status of proposals to address that need.
24.34The report must identify any barriers to meeting transmission infrastructure needs and
24.35make recommendations, including any legislation, that are necessary to overcome those
25.1barriers. The report must be based on the best available information and must describe
25.2what assumptions are made as the basis for the report. If the commissioner determines
25.3that there are difficulties in accurately assessing future transmission infrastructure needs,
25.4the commissioner shall explain those difficulties as part of the report. The commissioner is
25.5not required to conduct original research to support the report. The commissioner may
25.6utilize information the commissioner, the commission, and the Office of Energy Security
25.7possess and utilize in carrying out their existing statutory duties related to the state's
25.8transmission infrastructure. The report must be in easily understood, nontechnical terms.
25.9EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 29. [216C.055] KEY ROLE OF SOLAR AND BIOMASS RESOURCES IN
25.11PRODUCING THERMAL ENERGY.
25.12The annual legislative proposals required to be submitted by the commissioners
25.13of commerce and the Pollution Control Agency under section 216H.07, subdivision
25.144, must include proposals regarding the use of solar energy and the combustion of
25.15grasses, agricultural wastes, trees, and other vegetation to produce thermal energy for
25.16heating commercial, industrial, and residential buildings and for industrial processes if
25.17the commissioners determine that such policies are appropriate to achieve the state's
25.18greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. No legal claim against any person is allowed
25.19under this section. This section does not apply to the combustion of municipal solid waste
25.20or refuse-derived fuel to produce thermal energy. For purposes of this section, removal
25.21of woody biomass from publicly owned forests must be consistent with the principles of
25.22sustainable forest management.
25.23EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 30. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 216C.11, is amended to read:
25.25216C.11 ENERGY CONSERVATION INFORMATION CENTER.
The commissioner shall establish an Energy Information Center in the department's
offices in St. Paul. The information center shall maintain a toll-free telephone information
service and disseminate printed materials on energy conservation topics, including but
not limited to, availability of loans and other public and private financing methods
for energy conservation physical improvements, the techniques and materials used to
conserve energy in buildings, including retrofitting or upgrading insulation and installing
weatherstripping, the projected prices and availability of different sources of energy,
and alternative sources of energy.
The Energy Information Center shall serve as the official Minnesota Alcohol Fuels
Information Center and shall disseminate information, printed, by the toll-free telephone
information service, or otherwise on the applicability and technology of alcohol fuels.
The information center shall include information on the potential hazards of energy
conservation techniques and improvements in the printed materials disseminated. The
commissioner shall not be liable for damages arising from the installation or operation of
equipment or materials recommended by the information center.
The information center shall use the information collected under section
, to maintain a central source of information on conservation and other
energy-related programs, including both programs required by law or rule and programs
developed and carried on voluntarily. In particular, the information center shall compile
and maintain information on policies covering disconnections or denials of fuel
during cold weather adopted by public utilities and other fuel suppliers not governed
Minnesota Rules, parts 7820.1500 to 7820.2300 section 216B.096 or 216B.097
including the number of households disconnected or denied fuel and the duration of the
disconnections or denials.
26.17EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 31. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 216C.41, subdivision 5a, is amended to read:
Subd. 5a. Renewable development account.
The Department of Commerce
shall authorize payment of the renewable energy production incentive to wind energy
for 200 megawatts of nameplate capacity and that are eligible under
26.22this section or Laws 2005, chapter 40,
to on-farm biogas recovery facilities, and to
. Payment of the incentive shall be made from the renewable energy
development account as provided under section
116C.779, subdivision 2
26.25EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 32. NATURAL GAS UTILITIES; INTERIM ENERGY SAVINGS PLAN.
26.27(a) The commissioner of commerce may approve an energy conservation
26.28improvement plan under Minnesota Statutes, section 216B.241, subdivision 1c, paragraph
26.30(1) is submitted to the commissioner in calendar year 2009 by a utility that provides
26.31natural gas service at retail;
26.32(2) governs the conservation improvements to be undertaken by the utility over the
26.33next three-year time period; and
26.34(3) is accompanied by a study that specifies how the utility may:
27.1(i) average savings of at least 0.75 percent over the three years following submission
27.2of the plan;
27.3(ii) meet and exceed the minimum energy savings goal of one percent of gross
27.4annual retail sales within five years of submission of the plan; and
27.5(iii) achieve average annual savings of at least one percent over years four through
27.6nine following submission of the plan.
27.7(b) The plan must include projections of the total amount spent by the utility to
27.8achieve energy savings each year and the cost per unit of energy saved.
27.9(c) Nothing in this section precludes the commissioner from requiring additional
27.10energy conservation improvement activities and programs beyond those proposed by a
27.11utility in its proposed plan so long as those additional activities and programs meet the
27.12requirements of Minnesota Statutes, section 216B.241. The commissioner shall require
27.13all reasonable actions by a utility that will increase the likelihood of the utility's meeting
27.14and exceeding the minimum one percent energy savings goal and the 1.5 percent goal
27.15as soon as reasonably feasible.
27.16EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 33. UTILITY RATES STUDY.
27.18The Public Utilities Commission, in consultation with the Office of Energy
27.19Security, shall conduct a study of automatic cost-recovery mechanisms and alternative
27.20forms of utility rate regulation. This study shall include an assessment of the impact of
27.21automatic cost-recovery mechanisms on prices charged to utility consumers compared
27.22to traditional cost-recovery mechanisms, an assessment of the impact of automatic
27.23recovery mechanisms on the level of customer understanding of utility rates compared to
27.24traditional cost-recovery mechanisms, and an assessment of alternative forms of utility
27.25rate regulation that may be used in place of automatic cost-recovery mechanisms. The
27.26study shall also address methods to improve administration and customer understanding
27.27of automatic cost-recovery mechanisms. The commission shall submit this report to the
27.28legislature on or before June 30, 2010. The commission may assess public utilities for
27.29the cost of the study. The assessment is not subject to a cap on assessments provided by
27.30section 216B.62 or any other law.
27.31EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 34. MOUNTAIN IRON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY;
27.33WIND ENERGY PROJECT.
27.34(a) The Mountain Iron Economic Development Authority may form or become a
27.35member of a limited liability company organized under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 322B,
28.1for the purpose of developing a community-based energy development project pursuant
28.2to Minnesota Statutes, section 216B.1612. A limited liability company formed or joined
28.3under this section is subject to the open meeting requirements established in Minnesota
28.4Statutes, chapter 13D. A project authorized by this section may not sell, transmit, or
28.5distribute the electrical energy at retail or provide for end use of the electricity to an
28.6off-site facility of the economic development corporation or the limited liability company.
28.7Nothing in this section modifies the exclusive service territories or exclusive right to serve
28.8as provided in Minnesota Statutes, sections 216B.37 to 216B.43.
28.9(b) The authority may acquire a leasehold interest in property outside its corporate
28.10boundaries for the purpose of developing a community-based energy development project
28.11as provided in Minnesota Statutes, section 216B.1612.
28.12EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day after the city of Mountain
28.13Iron and its chief clerical officer comply with Minnesota Statutes, section 645.021,
28.14subdivisions 2 and 3.
Sec. 35. SOLAR CITIES REPORT.
28.16The cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, designated as solar cities under the federal
28.17Department of Energy's Solar America Initiative, shall, by October 1, 2009, and October
28.181, 2010, submit a report to the cochairs of the Legislative Energy Commission containing
28.19strategies to accelerate the rate of solar thermal and solar electric energy installations
28.20in all building types throughout the state. The report must, at a minimum, address the
28.22(1) identify legal, administrative, financial, and operational barriers to increasing the
28.23installation of solar energy, and measures to overcome them;
28.24(2) identify financial and regulatory mechanisms that stimulate the development of
28.26(3) identify ways to link solar energy development with energy conservation and
28.27energy efficiency strategies and programs;
28.28(4) how efforts and initiatives undertaken by St. Paul and Minneapolis can be
28.29integrated with activities undertaken in other parts of the state; and
28.30(5) how projected trends in solar technologies and the costs of solar generation can
28.31be integrated into the state's strategy to advance adoption of solar energy.
28.32In preparing these reports, the cities may confer with any person whose experience
28.33and expertise will assist in preparing the reports, including utilities, businesses providing
28.34solar energy installation services, nonprofit organizations promoting solar energy, and
Sec. 36. CANCELLATION AND APPROPRIATION.
29.2(a) Of the amount remaining from the appropriation to the commissioner of
29.3commerce to provide competitive, cost-share grants to fund renewable energy research
29.4in this state under Laws 2007, chapter 57, article 2, section 3, subdivision 6, $750,000 is
29.5canceled to the special revenue fund.
29.6(b) $750,000 in fiscal year 2010 is appropriated from the special revenue fund to the
29.7commissioner of commerce for a onetime grant to BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota
29.8for bioscience business development programs to promote and position the state as
29.9a global leader in bioscience business activities. These funds may be used to create,
29.10recruit, retain, and expand biobusiness activity in Minnesota; implement the destination
29.112025 statewide plan; update a statewide assessment of the bioscience industry and the
29.12competitive position of Minnesota-based bioscience businesses relative to other states and
29.13other nations; and develop and implement business and scenario-planning models to
29.14create, recruit, retain, and expand biobusiness activity in Minnesota.
29.15EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 37. REVISOR'S INSTRUCTION.
29.17(a) The revisor of statutes shall replace the phrase "parts 7820.1500 to 7820.2300" in
29.18Minnesota Rules, part 7826.0200, with the phrase "Minnesota Statutes, sections 216B.096
29.20(b) The revisor of statutes shall replace the phrase "chapter 7820" in Minnesota
29.21Rules, part 7826.1500, item B, with the phrase "Minnesota Statutes, sections 216B.096
29.23EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Sec. 38. REPEALER.
29.25Laws 2007, chapter 3, section 3, is repealed.
Delete the title and insert:
relating to energy; providing for energy conservation; regulating utilities and
utility rates; modifying or adding provisions relating to renewable energy
production incentives and initiatives, high-voltage transmission lines, central
corridor utility zone cost adjustments, contracts, renewable energy purchases,
decoupling criteria, certain appraisal fees, energy conservation, utility costs
and refunds, renewable and high-efficiency energy rate options, solar energy,
utility energy savings, biomethane purchases, Sustainable Building 2030,
certificate of need exemptions, energy facilities, renewable development account,
and Mountain Iron Economic Development Authority; providing for audit
investigation costs and appropriating money; requiring studies, legislative reports
and proposals; cancelling appropriations; appropriating money;amending
Minnesota Statutes 2008, sections 116C.779, subdivision 2, by adding a
subdivision; 117.189; 216A.03, subdivision 6, by adding a subdivision; 216B.16,
subdivisions 2, 6c, 7b, by adding a subdivision; 216B.1645, subdivision 2a;
216B.169, subdivision 2; 216B.1691, subdivision 2a; 216B.23, by adding
a subdivision; 216B.241, subdivisions 1c, 5a, 9, by adding a subdivision;
216B.2411, subdivisions 1, 2; 216B.2412, subdivision 2; 216B.2424, subdivision
5a; 216B.243, subdivisions 8, 9; 216B.62, subdivisions 3, 4, by adding a
subdivision; 216C.11; 216C.41, subdivision 5a; proposing coding for new law
in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 216B; 216C; repealing Laws 2007, chapter 3,
We request the adoption of this report and repassage of the bill.Senate Conferees: (Signed) Yvonne Prettner Solon, John Doll, D. Scott Dibble, David Senjem, Dan SparksHouse Conferees: (Signed) Bill Hilty, Andrew Falk, Sheldon Johnson, Jeremy Kalin, Michael Beard
|We request the adoption of this report and repassage of the bill.
|Yvonne Prettner Solon
|D. Scott Dibble