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HF 680

3rd Engrossment - 86th Legislature (2009 - 2010) Posted on 02/09/2010 01:40am

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

Bill Text Versions

Engrossments
Introduction Posted on 02/09/2009
1st Engrossment Posted on 03/18/2009
2nd Engrossment Posted on 04/07/2009
3rd Engrossment Posted on 04/25/2009
Committee Engrossments
1st Committee Engrossment Posted on 02/12/2009
2nd Committee Engrossment Posted on 02/17/2009
4th Committee Engrossment Posted on 03/05/2009
5th Committee Engrossment Posted on 03/30/2009

Current Version - 3rd Engrossment

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A bill for an act
relating to energy; providing direction for use of federal stimulus funds for
energy programs.

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

ARTICLE 1

DEFINITIONS; GOALS; LEGISLATIVE REVIEW

Section 1. new text beginFEDERAL STIMULUS FUNDING; GOAL OF ENERGY
PROGRAMS.
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 articles 1 to 5, the following terms
have the meaning given them.
new text end

new text begin (a) "Act" means the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
new text end

new text begin (b) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of commerce.
new text end

new text begin (c) "Stimulus funding" or "funding" means funding provided to the state under
the act for:
new text end

new text begin (1) energy efficiency and conservation block grants authorized under subtitle E of
title V of the federal Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, United States Code,
title 42, section 17151 et seq.;
new text end

new text begin (2) the Weatherization Assistance Program authorized under part A of title IV of the
federal Energy Conservation and Production Act, United States Code, title 42, section
6861, et seq.; and
new text end

new text begin (3) the State Energy Program authorized under part D of title III of the federal
Energy Policy and Conservation Act, United States Code, title 42, section 6321, et seq.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Stimulus funding allocation and use goals. new text end

new text begin To the extent allowed by
federal law and regulation and consistent with the purposes and principles of the act,
stimulus funding must be allocated and expended under articles 2 to 4 for activities that
best achieve the following goals:
new text end

new text begin (1) job retention and creation;
new text end

new text begin (2) improved energy efficiency and increased renewable energy production capacity;
new text end

new text begin (3) coordination with and leveraging of other resources to increase the total benefits
derived from stimulus funding;
new text end

new text begin (4) timely implementation of funded activities;
new text end

new text begin (5) long-term sustainability of benefits derived from stimulus funds;
new text end

new text begin (6) geographic distribution across the state;
new text end

new text begin (7) compliance with the disadvantaged business enterprise requirements in
Minnesota Statutes, section 16C.16; and
new text end

new text begin (8) ensuring that projects are cost-effective and maximize energy savings per dollar
of stimulus funding expended.
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. 2. new text beginLEGISLATIVE REVIEW.
new text end

new text begin The Office of Energy Security shall, prior to expending any stimulus funds, submit
to the chairs and ranking minority members of the senate and house of representatives
committees with primary jurisdiction over energy policy and finance the criteria it
proposes to use to rank the programs in articles 1 to 5 in order to allocate stimulus funding
among the programs. Comments on the proposed criteria must be submitted to the Office
of Energy Security within ten working days of receipt of the criteria. The Office of Energy
Security shall consider the comments before establishing the final allocation criteria, and
shall submit a report on the amount of stimulus funds allocated to each of the programs
under articles 1 to 5 the chairs and ranking minority members of the senate and house of
representatives committees with primary jurisdiction over energy policy and finance
within ten working days of establishing the stimulus funding allocations.
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

ARTICLE 2

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Section 1. new text beginWEATHERIZATION.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Allocation of funds. new text end

new text begin All stimulus funds for weatherization must be
allocated by the director of the Office of Energy Security, consistent with federal allocation
requirements and state allocation formulas in the state weatherization plan. Existing
providers of weatherization services must be fully utilized, consistent with effective
program delivery, before additional providers of weatherization services are added.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Rental units. new text end

new text begin Programs that include rental units must be developed,
including developing procedures to increase low-income rental unit participation in
programs. Priority must be given to serving the largest number of new weatherization
clients consistent with federal eligibility requirements.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Background check. new text end

new text begin Any person offering employment to an individual
to conduct weatherization activities under this section shall request a criminal history
background check from the superintendent of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension on that
individual. In order for an individual to be eligible for employment, the individual must
provide an executed criminal history consent form and a money order or check payable to
the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in an amount equal to the actual cost to the Bureau
of Criminal Apprehension of conducting the background check. The superintendent of
the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension shall conduct the background check by retrieving
criminal history data maintained in the criminal justice information system computers.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Employment prohibited. new text end

new text begin An individual convicted of a violent crime, as
defined in Minnesota Statutes, section 611A.08, subdivision 6, or a crime against property
may not be hired to conduct weatherization activities under this section.
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. 2. new text beginLOCAL GOVERNMENT AND SCHOOL DISTRICT BUILDING
RENOVATIONS.
new text end

new text begin The Office of Energy Security must coordinate the use of stimulus funds with the
local public building enhanced energy-efficiency program under Minnesota Statutes,
section 216C.43. The Office of Energy Security shall prioritize lighting upgrades, energy
recommissioning, and other cost-effective energy projects that are ready for immediate
implementation. Stimulus funds may be used for, but are not limited to, grants for a portion
of costs incurred by local governments to implement energy efficiency improvements
under the local public building enhanced energy-efficiency program. The Office of Energy
Security may require a local government, as a condition of receiving a grant, to commit to
implement future activities, including, but not limited to, staff training, that are designed
to create additional energy or operating savings to the local government. The Office of
Energy Security shall coordinate with the Department of Education to prioritize school
district projects for funding under this section, consistent with the principles of statewide
geographic distribution of projects, optimized energy savings, and an improved learning
environment for schoolchildren.
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. 3. new text beginSTATE GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS.
new text end

new text begin The Department of Administration shall develop a plan and procedures to select,
fund, and implement projects using stimulus funds. The plan and procedures shall
prioritize lighting upgrades, energy-efficient windows, energy recommissioning, and other
cost-effective energy projects that are ready for immediate implementation. Funds may be
used for, but are not limited to, grants for a portion of costs incurred by state agencies in
implementing energy efficiency improvements. The Department of Administration may
require a state agency, as a condition of receiving stimulus funds, to commit to implement
future activities, including, but not limited to, staff training, that are designed to create
additional energy or operating savings to the state agency.
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 beginRESIDENTIAL ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROGRAMS.
new text end

new text begin The Office of Energy Security shall coordinate with the Minnesota Housing Finance
Agency to use stimulus funds in conjunction with the Minnesota Housing Finance
Agency's existing financing programs to improve energy efficiency in dwellings.
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 beginTRAINING AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT.
new text end

new text begin (a) The Department of Employment and Economic Development, in consultation
with the Office of Energy Security and the Office of Higher Education, shall develop a
plan and procedures to:
new text end

new text begin (1) allocate stimulus funds to training programs to train energy professionals needed
to implement the energy programs described in sections 1 to 4, including but not limited to
energy auditors, energy managers, and building operators;
new text end

new text begin (2) coordinate, oversee, and monitor the training and certification of energy
professionals; and
new text end

new text begin (3) allocate stimulus funding for the purposes of clauses (1) and (2) and to training
providers.
new text end

new text begin (b) Training strategies must be designed to meet the wide range of facilities
managers and building sizes and types, and must protect the occupational health and safety
of workers employed on these energy projects. Technical skills training must include
insulation, air sealing, and mechanical work.
new text end

new text begin (c) The plan must include procedures to:
new text end

new text begin (1) train individuals already employed in implementing energy programs;
new text end

new text begin (2) recruit individuals to be trained to perform work in energy projects using
stimulus funding who are unemployed, especially targeting communities experiencing
disproportionately high rates of unemployment, including, but not limited to, low-income,
youth, rural, or tribal communities and individuals in construction trades and crafts;
new text end

new text begin (3) ensure that the full capacity of current training providers is utilized, including,
but not limited to, opportunities industrialization centers, skilled trades labor unions, tribal
colleges or nonprofits working in tribal communities, community action partnerships,
utility companies, higher education institutions, and nonprofit organizations with
demonstrated expertise in energy efficiency; and
new text end

new text begin (4) publicize job and contract opportunities through cost-effective dissemination
via the mass media, including, but not limited to, public service announcements and
radio advertisements.
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. 6. new text beginACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY REPORTING.
new text end

new text begin The director of the Office of Energy Security, after compiling information supplied
by the Departments of Administration, Education, and Employment and Economic
Development, and the Office of Higher Education, shall report on the progress of the
programs funded under articles 1 to 5 to the house of representatives and senate committees
with jurisdiction over energy finance and workforce development policy by September 1,
2009, January 15, 2010, April 1, 2010, and September 1, 2010. The report must include a
complete accounting of all stimulus funds spent on the programs funded under articles 1 to
5, to the extent allowable by state and federal law, including, but not limited to:
new text end

new text begin (1) the specific projects funded, including the location, building owner, and project
manager;
new text end

new text begin (2) the number of jobs retained or created by each project;
new text end

new text begin (3) the total calculated and actual energy savings for each project;
new text end

new text begin (4) the remaining balances in each stimulus fund;
new text end

new text begin (5) the nonstimulus funding leveraged by stimulus funds for each project;
new text end

new text begin (6) the training courses provided, including the location and provider of courses
offered, the funding source for each training course, and the total number of trainees;
new text end

new text begin (7) compliance with prevailing wage, veterans, and disadvantaged business
enterprise requirements; and
new text end

new text begin (8) the effectiveness of the outreach and recruitment efforts among youth,
low-income, and unemployed workers conducted under section 5, paragraph (a), clause
(2).
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

ARTICLE 3

RENEWABLE ENERGY

Section 1. new text beginRENEWABLE ENERGY GRANT PROGRAM.
new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner of commerce shall establish a program to award grants to
energy projects that meet the following conditions:
new text end

new text begin (1) the project qualifies as a community-based energy development (C-BED) project,
as defined in Minnesota Statutes, section 216B.1612, subdivision 2, paragraph (g);
new text end

new text begin (2) for wind projects, the project is located in an area where the measured wind
resource is Class 4 or above;
new text end

new text begin (3) the project begins commercial operation after July 1, 2009;
new text end

new text begin (4) the project does not receive renewable energy payment incentives under
Minnesota Statutes, section 216C.41; and
new text end

new text begin (5) the project meets any other conditions established under the American Recovery
and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Public Law 111-5, for use of these funds.
new text end

new text begin (b) The department shall develop an application form, application review procedures,
criteria that projects must meet in order to be considered for a grant award, procedures
and guidelines for project monitoring and evaluation, and other administrative procedures
necessary to fully implement a grant program.
new text end

new text begin (c) The maximum grant to a project is $500,000.
new text end

new text begin (d) No more than two projects in a single county may receive a grant under this
section.
new text end

new text begin (e) No C-BED qualifying owner may financially participate in more than one project
that receives a grant under this section.
new text end

new text begin (f) Grant awards must be geographically dispersed throughout the state.
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. 2. new text beginRENEWABLE ELECTRIC GENERATION FACILITY REBATES.
new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner shall establish a program to award rebates to qualifying
facilities that generate electricity from a renewable source and that:
new text end

new text begin (1) begin operation after July 1, 2009;
new text end

new text begin (2) meet all other conditions established under the act; and
new text end

new text begin (3) provide electricity to:
new text end

new text begin (i) a homeowner's primary residence; or
new text end

new text begin (ii) a business with 20 or fewer full-time employees.
new text end

new text begin (b) The commissioner shall develop an application form, application review
procedures, criteria that projects must meet in order to be considered for a rebate,
procedures and guidelines for project monitoring and evaluation, and other administrative
procedures necessary to fully implement a rebate program.
new text end

new text begin (c) The owner of a qualifying facility may apply to the commissioner for a rebate of
the lesser of $2,500 or 35 percent of the cost of the electric generation facility, including
installation costs.
new text end

new text begin (d) The commissioner shall award rebates only from funds appropriated for that
purpose and to the extent of those appropriations. Grants must be made to applicants in
the order of the time of receipt of a complete application.
new text end

new text begin (e) For purposes of this section:
new text end

new text begin (1) "Qualifying facility" means an electric generation facility with a capacity of less
than 40 kilowatts that generates electricity from a renewable energy source.
new text end

new text begin (2) "Renewable energy source" means:
new text end

new text begin (i) solar;
new text end

new text begin (ii) wind;
new text end

new text begin (iii) hydroelectric;
new text end

new text begin (iv) hydrogen, provided that after January 1, 2010, the hydrogen must be generated
from the resources listed in this clause; or
new text end

new text begin (v) biomass, which includes, without limitation, landfill gas; an anaerobic digester
system; and the predominantly organic components of wastewater effluent, sludge, or
related by-products from publicly owned treatment works, but not including incineration
of wastewater sludge to produce electricity.
new text end

new text begin (3) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of commerce.
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. 3. new text beginSOLAR ENERGY PROJECTS IN PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND
SCHOOLS.
new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner shall establish a program to award grants to:
new text end

new text begin (1) local units of government to pay the costs of installing solar energy projects to
generate energy used in public buildings; or
new text end

new text begin (2) to school districts to pay the costs of installing solar energy projects to generate
energy used in K-12 schools.
new text end

new text begin (b) To be eligible to receive a grant, a project must:
new text end

new text begin (1) begin operation after July 1, 2009; and
new text end

new text begin (2) meet all other conditions established under the act.
new text end

new text begin (c) The commissioner shall develop an application form, application review
procedures, criteria that a project must meet in order to be considered for a grant award,
procedures and guidelines for project monitoring and evaluation, and other administrative
procedures necessary to fully implement a grant program.
new text end

new text begin (d) In awarding grants, the commissioner must determine, at a minimum, the
following:
new text end

new text begin (1) that the physical condition of the building is sufficient to support the efficient
operation of the solar energy project;
new text end

new text begin (2) that there is no significant possibility that the building may close within ten
years, which determination, for a school, must be based on enrollment projections; and
new text end

new text begin (3) that the projected cumulative energy savings exceed the grant amount within 15
years for a qualifying solar thermal project, and within 20 years for a photovoltaic device.
new text end

new text begin (e) In awarding grants, the commissioner must also consider:
new text end

new text begin (1) the reliability and cost-effectiveness of the solar technology to be installed;
new text end

new text begin (2) the extent to which the proposal effectively coordinates with the conservation
and energy efficiency programs offered by the energy utilities serving the building in
which the project is located, and with the public building enhanced energy efficiency
program under section 216C.43, if applicable;
new text end

new text begin (3) life cycle energy use reductions and greenhouse gas emissions reductions
projected per dollar of installed cost of the project; and
new text end

new text begin (4) the geographic distribution of grant recipients throughout the state.
new text end

new text begin (f) For the purposes of this section:
new text end

new text begin (1) "public building" means any publicly owned building, sports arena, or other
facility of a county, city, or other local unit of government;
new text end

new text begin (2) "solar energy" means:
new text end

new text begin (i) a photovoltaic device, as defined in Minnesota Statutes, section 216C.06,
subdivision 16; or
new text end

new text begin (ii) a qualifying thermal project, as defined in Minnesota Statutes, section
216B.2411, subdivision 2, that includes modifications made to a distribution system to
distribute heating or cooling throughout a building; and
new text end

new text begin (3) "commissioner" means the commissioner of commerce.
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

ARTICLE 4

MISCELLANEOUS PROGRAMS

Section 1. new text beginENERGY PROGRAMS IN COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL
BUILDINGS.
new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner of commerce shall establish a program to award grants to
commercial and industrial facilities for the purpose of:
new text end

new text begin (1) installing energy-efficiency improvements or devices that use renewable energy
sources to generate electricity or to heat or cool a building; or
new text end

new text begin (2) manufacturing renewable fuels in solid form from biomass for use in industrial
boilers.
new text end

new text begin (b) To be eligible to receive a grant, a project must:
new text end

new text begin (1) begin commercial operation after July 1, 2009; and
new text end

new text begin (2) meet all other conditions established under the act.
new text end

new text begin (c) The commissioner shall develop an application form, application review
procedures, criteria that a project must meet in order to be considered for a grant award,
procedures and guidelines for project monitoring and evaluation, and other administrative
procedures necessary to fully implement a grant program.
new text end

new text begin (d) For the purposes of this section, "renewable energy source" means:
new text end

new text begin (i) solar;
new text end

new text begin (ii) wind;
new text end

new text begin (iii) hydroelectric;
new text end

new text begin (iv) hydrogen, provided that after January 1, 2010, the hydrogen must be generated
from the resources listed in this paragraph; or
new text end

new text begin (v) biomass, which includes, without limitation, landfill gas; an anaerobic digester
system; and the predominantly organic components of wastewater effluent, sludge, or
related by-products from publicly owned treatment works, but not including incineration
of wastewater sludge to produce electricity.
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. 2. new text beginENERGY EDUCATION, TRAINING, AND DATA SYSTEMS.
new text end

new text begin The Office of Energy Security shall establish programs to work with teachers and
other energy experts to include energy issues in K-12 curricula; develop training and
certification programs for technicians to install and service wind and solar energy systems;
and upgrade data systems to enable accurate tracking of energy savings resulting from the
conservation improvement program and other state energy programs.
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. 3. new text beginENERGY EFFICIENCY GRANTS TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS.
new text end

new text begin The Office of Energy Security shall establish a grant program to award grants to
local units of government to enhance energy efficiency and reduce energy use. Energy
efficiency and conservation block grant funds may be used for grants for planning,
consultant services, energy audits, implementing energy-efficient building codes and
inspection services, energy efficiency renovations, street lighting, and the installation of
renewable energy devices deployed on public buildings.
new text end

ARTICLE 5

APPROPRIATIONS

Section 1. new text beginWEATHERIZATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM APPROPRIATION.
new text end

new text begin Of the funds available to the state of Minnesota from the federal stimulus funding for
the weatherization assistance program under the American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act of 2009, Public Law 111-5, $131,937,411 is appropriated to the commissioner of
commerce. The funds must be administered consistent with the requirements in article 2,
section 1.
new text end

Sec. 2. new text beginENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CONSERVATION BLOCK PROGRAM
APPROPRIATION.
new text end

new text begin The funds available to the state of Minnesota from the federal stimulus funding
for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program under the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Public Law 111-5, estimated to be $10,644,100,
are appropriated to the commissioner of commerce. The appropriation must be distributed
as follows:
new text end

new text begin (1) 61.5 percent, estimated to be $6,546,121, is for energy efficiency grants to local
government in article 4, section 3; and
new text end

new text begin (2) 38.5 percent, estimated to be $4,097,979, is for local government and school
district buildings consistent with the requirements in article 2, section 2.
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. 3. new text beginSTATE ENERGY PROGRAM APPROPRIATION.
new text end

new text begin Of the funds available to the state of Minnesota from the federal stimulus funding
for the State Energy Program under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of
2009, Public Law 111-5, $54,172,000 is appropriated to the commissioner of commerce.
Of this amount:
new text end

new text begin (1) $10,650,000 is for local government and school district buildings consistent
with the requirements in article 2, section 2;
new text end

new text begin (2) $8,000,000 is for state government buildings consistent with the requirements in
article 2, section 3;
new text end

new text begin (3) $12,000,000 is for the residential energy financing programs in article 2, section
4;
new text end

new text begin (4) $12,000,000 is for renewable energy programs, including, but not limited to, the
programs specified in article 3;
new text end

new text begin (5) $5,000,000 is for grants to commercial and industrial facilities for energy
efficiency and renewable energy projects in article 4, section 1;
new text end

new text begin (6) $5,022,000 is for energy education, training, and information and data systems in
article 4, section 2; and
new text end

new text begin (7) $1,500,000 is for a grant to the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges
and Universities for the International Renewable Energy Technology Institute (IRETI) to
be located at Minnesota State University, Mankato, as a public and private partnership to
support applied research in renewable energy and energy efficiency to aid in the transfer of
technology from Sweden to Minnesota and to support technology commercialization from
companies located in Minnesota and throughout the world.
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