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SF 417

as introduced - 87th Legislature (2011 - 2012) Posted on 02/23/2012 08:52am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to energy; modifying and clarifying provisions related to innovative
energy projects; amending Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 216B.1694.


Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 216B.1694, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.


For the purposes of this section, the term "innovative
energy project" means a proposed energy-generation facility or group of facilitiesnew text begin,new text end which
may be located on up to three sites:

(1) that makes use of deleted text beginan innovativedeleted text endnew text begin combustion turbinenew text end generation technology
utilizing new text beginnatural gas or synthesis gas derived from new text endcoal new text beginor other hydrocarbon resources
new text endas a primary fuel in a highly efficient combined-cycle configuration with significantly
reduced sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, particulate, and mercury emissions from those of
traditional new text begincoal combustion new text endtechnologies;new text begin and
new text end

(2) deleted text beginthat the project developer or owner certifies is a project capable of offering a
long-term supply contract at a hedged, predictable cost; and
deleted text end

deleted text begin (3)deleted text end that is designated by the commissioner of the Iron Range Resources and
Rehabilitation Board as a project that is located in the taconite tax relief area on a site that
has substantial real property with adequate infrastructure to support new or expanded
development and that has received prior financial and other support from the board.

Subd. 2.

Regulatory incentives.

deleted text begin(a)deleted text end An innovative energy project:

(1) is exempted from the requirements for a certificate of need under section
216B.243, for the generation facilities, and transmission infrastructure associated with the
generation facilities, but is subject to all applicable environmental review and permitting
procedures of chapter 216Enew text begin; provided that:
new text end

new text begin (i) site and route permits issued to an innovative energy project proposing to use
coal as a primary fuel are deemed valid for an innovative energy project using natural gas
as a primary fuel;
new text end

new text begin (ii) all site and route permits issued to an innovative energy project are valid for
a period of four years from the date the last state or federal preconstruction permit is
issued; and
new text end

new text begin (iii) following issuance of a final state or federal environmental impact statement
that was a subject of contested case proceedings before an administrative law judge, all
air, water, and other state permits necessary for the construction of an innovative energy
project must be issued within 180 days of filing the permit applications with state agencies,
and agency permit decisions are not subject to additional contested case hearings
new text end;

(2) once permitted and constructed, is eligible to increase the capacity of the
associated transmission facilities without additional state review upon filing notice with
the commission;

(3)new text begin(i)new text end has the power of eminent domain, which deleted text beginshall bedeleted text endnew text begin isnew text end limited to the sites and
routes approved by the deleted text beginEnvironmental Quality Boarddeleted text endnew text begin commissionnew text end for the project facilitiesdeleted text begin.
The project shall be
deleted text endnew text begin, (ii) isnew text end considered a utility as defined in section 216E.01, subdivision
, for the limited purpose of section 216E.12deleted text begin. The project shalldeleted text endnew text begin, and (iii) mustnew text end report any
intent to exercise eminent domain authority to the deleted text beginboarddeleted text endnew text begin commissionnew text end;

(4) deleted text beginshall qualifydeleted text endnew text begin that uses coal as a primary fuel qualifiesnew text end as a "clean energy
technology" as defined in section 216B.1693;

(5) deleted text beginshalldeleted text endnew text begin that uses coal as a primary fuelnew text end, prior to the approval by the commission of
any arrangement to build or expand a fossil-fuel-fired generation facilitydeleted text begin,deleted text end or to enter into
an agreement to purchase capacity or energy from such a facility for a term exceeding
five years,new text begin mustnew text end be considered as a supply option for the generation facility, and the
commission shall ensure such consideration and take any action with respect to deleted text beginsuchdeleted text endnew text begin thenew text end
supply proposal that it deems to be in the best interest of ratepayers;

(6) new text beginthat uses coal as a primary fuel new text endshall make a good faith effort to secure funding
from the United States Department of Energy and the United States Department of
Agriculture to conduct a demonstration project at the facility for either geologic or
terrestrial carbon sequestration projects to achieve reductions in facility emissions or
carbon dioxide;

(7) deleted text beginshall bedeleted text endnew text begin that uses coal as a primary fuel isnew text end entitled to enter into a contract with a
public utility that owns a nuclear generation facility in the state to provide 450 megawatts
of base-load capacity and energy under a long-term contract, subject to the approval of the
terms and conditions of the contract by the commission. The commission may approve,
disapprove, amend, or modify the contract in making its public interest determination,
taking into consideration the project's economic development benefits to the state; the use
of abundant domestic fuel sources; the stability of the price of the output from the project;
the project's potential to contribute to a transition to hydrogen as a fuel resource; and the
emissions reductions achieved compared to other solid fuel base-load technologies; and

(8) deleted text beginshall bedeleted text endnew text begin that uses coal as a primary fuel isnew text end eligible for a grant from the renewable
development account, subject to the approval of the entity administering that account, of
$2,000,000 a year for five years for development and engineering costs, including those
costs related to mercury-removal technology; thermal efficiency optimization and emission
minimization; environmental impact statement preparation and licensing; development of
hydrogen production capabilities; and fuel cell development and utilization.

deleted text begin (b) This subdivision does not apply to nor affect a proposal to add utility-owned
resources that is pending on May 29, 2003, before the Public Utilities Commission or to
competitive bid solicitations to provide capacity or energy that is scheduled to be on line
by December 31, 2006.
deleted text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

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