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SF 3299

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 02/27/2020 03:21pm

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

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to energy; modifying the community solar garden program; amending
Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 216B.1641.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 216B.1641, is amended to read:


216B.1641 COMMUNITY SOLAR GARDEN.

(a) The public utility subject to section 116C.779 shall file by September 30, 2013, a
plan with the commission to operate a community solar garden program which shall begin
operations within 90 days after commission approval of the plan. Other public utilities may
file an application at their election. The community solar garden program must be designed
to offset the energy use of not less than five subscribers in each community solar garden
facility of which no single subscriber has more than a 40 percent interest. The owner of the
community solar garden may be a public utility or any other entity or organization that
contracts to sell the output from the community solar garden to the utility under section
216B.164. There shall be no new text begincumulative new text endlimitation on the number or deleted text begincumulativedeleted text end generating
capacity of community solar garden facilities other than the limitations imposed under
section 216B.164, subdivision 4c, or other limitations provided in law or regulations.

new text begin (b) By September 30, 2020, the public utility must file a plan for commission approval
to limit the nameplate capacity of new executed interconnection agreements for community
solar garden facilities to ....... megawatts per year, beginning in calendar year 2021.
new text end

deleted text begin (b)deleted text endnew text begin (c)new text end A solar garden is a facility that generates electricity by means of a ground-mounted
or roof-mounted solar photovoltaic device whereby subscribers receive a bill credit for the
electricity generated in proportion to the size of their subscription. The solar garden must
have a nameplate capacity of no more than one megawatt. Each subscription shall be sized
to represent at least 200 watts of the community solar garden's generating capacity and to
supply, when combined with other distributed generation resources serving the premises,
no more than 120 percent of the average annual consumption of electricity by each subscriber
at the premises to which the subscription is attributed.

deleted text begin (c)deleted text end new text begin(d) new text endThe solar generation facility must be located in the service territory of the public
utility filing the plan. Subscribers must be retail customers of the public utility new text beginand, unless
the facility has a minimum setback of 100 feet from the nearest residential property and the
owner of the facility reserves at least ....... percent of its capacity for use by residential
subscribers, must be
new text endlocated in the same county or a county contiguous to where the facility
is located.

deleted text begin (d)deleted text end new text begin(e) new text endThe public utility must purchase from the community solar garden all energy
generated by the solar garden. The purchase shall be at the rate calculated under section
216B.164, subdivision 10, or, until that rate for the public utility has been approved by the
commission, the applicable retail rate. A solar garden is eligible for any incentive programs
offered under deleted text begineitherdeleted text end section 116C.7792 deleted text beginor section 216C.415deleted text end. A subscriber's portion of the
purchase shall be provided by a credit on the subscriber's bill.

deleted text begin (e)deleted text end new text begin(f) new text endThe commission may approve, disapprove, or modify a community solar garden
program. Any plan approved by the commission must:

(1) reasonably allow for the creation, financing, and accessibility of community solar
gardens;

(2) establish uniform standards, fees, and processes for the interconnection of community
solar garden facilities that allow the utility to recover reasonable interconnection costs for
each community solar garden;

(3) not apply different requirements to utility and nonutility community solar garden
facilities;

(4) be consistent with the public interest;

(5) identify the information that must be provided to potential subscribers to ensure fair
disclosure of future costs and benefits of subscriptions;

(6) include a program implementation schedule;

(7) identify all proposed rules, fees, and charges; deleted text beginand
deleted text end

(8) identify the means by which the program will be promoteddeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin;
new text end

new text begin (9) require that residential subscribers have a right to cancel a community solar garden
subscription within three business days, as provided under section 325G.07;
new text end

new text begin (10) require that the following information is provided by the solar garden owner in
writing to any prospective subscriber asked to make a prepayment to the solar garden owner
prior to the delivery of subscribed energy by the solar garden:
new text end

new text begin (i) an estimate of the annual generation of subscribed energy, based on the methodology
approved by the commission; and
new text end

new text begin (ii) an estimate of the length of time required to fully recover a subscriber's prepayments
made to the owner of the solar garden prior to the delivery of subscribed energy, calculated
using the formula developed by the commission under paragraph (j); and
new text end

new text begin (11) require new residential subscription agreements that require a prepayment to allow
the subscriber to transfer the subscription to other new or current subscribers, or to cancel
the subscription, on commercially reasonable terms.
new text end

deleted text begin (f)deleted text end new text begin(g) new text endNotwithstanding any other law, neither the manager of nor the subscribers to a
community solar garden facility shall be considered a utility solely as a result of their
participation in the community solar garden facility.

deleted text begin (g)deleted text end new text begin(h) new text endWithin 180 days of commission approval of a plan under this section, a utility
shall begin crediting subscriber accounts for each community solar garden facility in its
service territory, and shall file with the commissioner of commerce a description of its
crediting system.

deleted text begin (h)deleted text end new text begin(i) new text endFor the purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings given:

new text begin (1) "subscribed energy" means electricity generated by the community solar garden that
is attributable to a subscriber's subscription;
new text end

deleted text begin (1)deleted text endnew text begin (2)new text end "subscriber" means a retail customer of a utility who owns one or more
subscriptions of a community solar garden facility interconnected with that utility; and

deleted text begin (2)deleted text endnew text begin (3)new text end "subscription" means a contract between a subscriber and the owner of a solar
garden.

new text begin (j) By November 30, 2020, the commission must approve a formula solar garden owners
must use to estimate the length of time required to fully recover a subscriber's prepayments
made to the solar garden owner prior to the delivery of subscribed energy.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment and
applies to a plan submitted to the commission for approval on or after that date.
new text end