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HF 1842

2nd Engrossment - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 05/16/2020 11:52pm

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

Current Version - 2nd Engrossment

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A bill for an act
relating to energy; modifying the solar energy incentive program; establishing
various renewable energy and other energy-related programs; governing a certain
utility filing; requiring reports; appropriating money; amending Minnesota Statutes
2019 Supplement, section 116C.7792; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota
Statutes, chapter 116J.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2019 Supplement, section 116C.7792, is amended to read:


116C.7792 SOLAR ENERGY new text beginPRODUCTION new text endINCENTIVE PROGRAM.

new text begin (a) new text endThe utility subject to section 116C.779 shall operate a program to provide solar
energy production incentives for solar energy systems of no more than a total aggregate
nameplate capacity of 40 kilowatts alternating current per premise. The owner of a solar
energy system installed before June 1, 2018, is eligible to receive a production incentive
under this section for any additional solar energy systems constructed at the same customer
location, provided that the aggregate capacity of all systems at the customer location does
not exceed 40 kilowatts.

new text begin (b)new text end The program deleted text beginshall be operated for eight consecutive calendar years commencing in
2014. $5,000,000 shall be allocated in each of the first four years, $15,000,000 in the fifth
year, $10,000,000 in each of the sixth and seventh years, and $5,000,000 in the eighth year
from funds
deleted text endnew text begin is funded by moneynew text end withheld from transfer to the renewable development account
under section 116C.779, subdivision 1, paragraphs (b) and (e)deleted text begin, anddeleted text endnew text begin. Program funds must
be
new text end placed in a separate account for the purpose of the solar new text beginenergy new text endproduction incentive
program operated by the utility and not for any other program or purpose.

new text begin (c) Funds allocated to the solar energy production incentive program in 2019 and 2020
remain available to the solar energy production incentive program.
new text end

new text begin (d) The following amounts are allocated to the solar energy production incentive program:
new text end

new text begin (1) $10,000,000 in 2021; and
new text end

new text begin (2) $10,000,000 in 2022.
new text end

new text begin (e) Funds allocated to the solar energy production incentive program that have not been
committed to a specific project at the end of a program year remain available to the solar
energy production incentive program.
new text end

deleted text begin Any unspent amount allocated deleted text enddeleted text beginin the fifthdeleted text enddeleted text begin year is available deleted text enddeleted text beginuntil December 31 of the sixthdeleted text end
deleted text begin year.deleted text end new text begin(f)new text end Any unspent amount remaining deleted text beginat the end of any other allocation yeardeleted text endnew text begin on January
1, 2023,
new text end must be transferred to the renewable development account.

deleted text begin The solar systemdeleted text endnew text begin (g) A solar energy system receiving a production incentive under this
section
new text end must be sized to less than 120 percent of the customer's on-site annual energy
consumption when combined with other distributed generation resources and subscriptions
provided under section 216B.1641 associated with the premise. The production incentive
must be paid for ten years commencing with the commissioning of the system.

new text begin (h)new text end The utility must file a plan to operate the program with the commissioner of
commerce. The utility may not operate the program until it is approved by the commissioner.
A change to the program to include projects up to a nameplate capacity of 40 kilowatts or
less does not require the utility to file a plan with the commissioner. Any plan approved by
the commissioner of commerce must not provide an increased incentive scale over prior
years unless the commissioner demonstrates that changes in the market for solar energy
facilities require an increase.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

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

Sec. 2.

new text begin [116J.55] COMMUNITY ENERGY TRANSITION GRANTS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Definitions. new text end

new text begin For the purposes of this section, "eligible community" means
a county, municipality, or tribal government located in Minnesota in which an electric
generating plant owned by a public utility, as defined in section 216B.02, that is powered
by coal, nuclear energy, or natural gas:
new text end

new text begin (1) is currently operating and is scheduled to cease operations or whose cessation of
operations has been proposed in an integrated resource plan filed with the commission under
section 216B.2422; or
new text end

new text begin (2) ceased operations or was removed from the local property tax base no earlier than
five years before the date an application is made for a grant under this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Program establishment. new text end

new text begin A community energy transition grant program is
established in the department to award grants to assist eligible communities to address the
economic dislocation associated with the closing of a local electric generating plant.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Account established. new text end

new text begin (a) A community energy transition account is created in
the special revenue fund in the state treasury. The commissioner shall credit to the account
appropriations and transfers to the account. Earnings, including interest, dividends, and any
other earnings arising from assets of the account, must be credited to the account. The
commissioner shall manage the account.
new text end

new text begin (b) Money in the account is appropriated to the commissioner for grants under this
section and must be expended only as provided in this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Application process. new text end

new text begin (a) Applications for a grant under this section must be
made to the commissioner on a form developed by the commissioner.
new text end

new text begin (b) A grant application made by a county must include a resolution of support from the
legislative body in the city in which the electric generating plant is or was located.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Grant awards; limitations. new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner must award grants under
this section to eligible communities through a competitive grant process.
new text end

new text begin (b) A grant awarded to an eligible community under this section must not exceed
$500,000.
new text end

new text begin (c) Grants funded with revenues from the renewable development account established
in section 116C.779 must be awarded to an eligible community located within the retail
electric service territory of the public utility that is subject to section 116C.779 or to an
eligible community in which an electric generating plant owned by that public utility is
located.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Eligible expenditures. new text end

new text begin (a) Money in the account established in subdivision 3
must be used only to:
new text end

new text begin (1) award grants to eligible communities under this section; and
new text end

new text begin (2) reimburse the department's reasonable costs to administer this section, up to a
maximum of five percent of the appropriation made to the commissioner under this section.
new text end

new text begin (b) An eligible community awarded a grant under this section may use the grant to plan
for or address the economic and social impacts on the eligible community of the electric
generating plant's cessation of operations, including but not limited to researching, planning,
and implementing activities designed to:
new text end

new text begin (1) assist workers at the plant find new employment, including worker retraining and
developing small business start-up skills;
new text end

new text begin (2) increase the eligible community's property tax base; and
new text end

new text begin (3) develop alternative economic development strategies to attract new employers to the
eligible community.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Report. new text end

new text begin By January 15, 2022, the commissioner must submit a report to the
chairs and ranking minority members of the committees of the senate and house of
representatives with jurisdiction over economic development and energy. The report must
describe the number and amount of grants awarded under this section and the uses made of
grant funds by eligible communities awarded grants.
new text end

Sec. 3. new text beginPRAIRIE ISLAND NET ZERO PROJECT.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Program established. new text end

new text begin The Prairie Island Net Zero Project is established
with the goal of the Prairie Island Indian Community developing an energy system that
results in net zero emissions.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Grant. new text end

new text begin The commissioner of commerce must enter into a grant contract with
the Prairie Island Indian Community to provide the amount appropriated under section 5,
subdivision 2, to stimulate research, development, and implementation of renewable energy
projects benefiting the Prairie Island Indian Community or its members. Any examination
conducted by the commissioner of commerce to determine the sufficiency of the financial
stability and capacity of the Prairie Island Indian Community to carry out the purposes of
this grant is limited to the Community Services Department of the Prairie Island Indian
Community.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Bids. new text end

new text begin The Prairie Island Indian Community must obtain bids to construct the
proposed project from no fewer than three separate contractors and must enter into one or
more contracts to complete the project and must submit the certified total cost to the
commissioner no later than January 1, 2022.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Plan; report. new text end

new text begin (a) The Prairie Island Indian Community must file a
comprehensive project plan with the commissioner of commerce and the legislative
committees with jurisdiction over energy policy no later than July 1, 2021, describing the
Prairie Island Net Zero Project elements and implementation strategy.
new text end

new text begin (b) The Prairie Island Indian Community must file a report with the commissioner of
commerce and the legislative committees with jurisdiction over energy policy on July 1,
2022, and each July 1 thereafter until the project is complete, describing the progress made
in implementing the project and the uses of expended funds. A final report must be completed
within 90 days of the date the project is complete.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

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

Sec. 4. new text beginFILING OF MORTGAGE OR DEED OF TRUST THROUGH 2020; PUBLIC
UTILITY.
new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 507.327, for the public utility subject to
Minnesota Statutes, section 116C.7791, the filing of the mortgage or deed of trust executed
between May 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020, filed in the Office of the Secretary of State
under Minnesota Statutes, section 336.02, along with, or as part of, the financing statement
covering the fixtures, has the same effect, and is notice of the rights and interests of the
mortgagee or trustee in easements, other less than fee simple interests in real estate, and fee
simple interests in real estate of the public utility to the same extent, as if the mortgage or
deed of trust were duly recorded in the office of the county recorder or duly registered in
the office of the registrar of titles of the counties in which the real estate is situated. The
effectiveness of the filing terminates at the same time as provided in Minnesota Statutes,
section 336B.02, subdivision 3, for the termination of the effectiveness of fixture filing.
Any filing made in accordance with this section shall also be made with the office of the
county recorder, or duly registered in the office of the registrar of titles, of the counties in
which the real estate is situated.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

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

Sec. 5. new text beginAPPROPRIATIONS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Community energy transition grants. new text end

new text begin (a) Notwithstanding Minnesota
Statutes, section 116C.779, subdivision 1, paragraph (j), $2,000,000 in fiscal year 2021 is
appropriated from the renewable development account established in Minnesota Statutes,
section 116C.779, subdivision 1, to the commissioner of employment and economic
development for deposit in the community energy transition account established in Minnesota
Statutes, section 116J.55, subdivision 3. This is a onetime appropriation and is available
until June 30, 2022.
new text end

new text begin (b) If another bill is enacted during the 2020 regular legislative session that appropriates
money from the renewable development account established in Minnesota Statutes, section
116C.779, subdivision 1, for the same general purpose as provided under Minnesota Statutes,
section 116J.55, the appropriation under this subdivision cancels to the renewable
development account under Minnesota Statutes, section 116C.779, subdivision 1.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Prairie Island Net Zero Project. new text end

new text begin (a) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes,
section 116C.779, subdivision 1, paragraph (j), $16,000,000 in fiscal year 2021 is
appropriated from the renewable development account under Minnesota Statutes, section
116C.779, subdivision 1, to the commissioner of commerce for a grant to the Prairie Island
Indian Community to implement the Prairie Island renewable energy project under section
3. The base for this project is $15,200,000 in fiscal year 2022 and $15,000,000 in fiscal
year 2023. The base for fiscal year 2024 is $0. Any unspent funds remaining in the account
upon completion of the project cancel to the renewable development account under Minnesota
Statutes, section 116C.779, subdivision 1. The commissioner of commerce shall manage
the grant, including the disbursement of grant funds to the Prairie Island Indian Community.
new text end

new text begin (b) The commissioner shall reserve a portion of the appropriation made under this section
to pay actual expenditures on the project that exceed the certified total cost. The amount
reserved shall be the lesser of:
new text end

new text begin (1) 20 percent of the certified total cost for the project; or
new text end

new text begin (2) the difference between the certified total cost and the amount appropriated under
this section.
new text end

new text begin (c) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), if the certified total cost for the project is less than
$46,200,000, the commissioner shall withhold from the project base in fiscal year 2023 an
amount equal to the difference between $46,200,000 and the sum of the amount of the
certified total cost and the amount reserved by the commissioner under paragraph (b), and
shall transfer the withheld amount to the renewable development account.
new text end

new text begin (d) For the purposes of this subdivision, "certified total cost" means the total cost of all
contracts the Prairie Island Indian Community enters into with contractors to complete the
Prairie Island Net Zero Project under section 3.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Granite Falls hydropower. new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section
116C.779, subdivision 1, paragraph (j), $2,750,000 in fiscal year 2021 is appropriated from
the renewable development account established under Minnesota Statutes, section 116C.779,
subdivision 1, to the commissioner of commerce for a grant to the city of Granite Falls to
purchase a new turbine to expand the electric generating capacity of the city's existing
hydroelectric generating facility. Of this amount, $400,000 is to repair structural damage
and erosion caused by flooding to the building that houses the turbines that generate
electricity. This appropriation is onetime and is available until June 30, 2023.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

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