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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

HF 2211

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 03/07/2019 02:48pm

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

Bill Text Versions

Engrossments
Introduction Posted on 03/07/2019

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to energy; capping the annual contributions made to the renewable
development account by Xcel Energy; establishing a process for reporting and
adjusting expenditures made from the account; amending the administrative
procedures governing the grant process funded by the account; amending Minnesota
Statutes 2018, section 116C.779, subdivision 1.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 116C.779, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Renewable development account.

(a) The renewable development
account is established as a separate account in the special revenue fund in the state treasury.
Appropriations and transfers to the account shall be credited to the account. Earnings, such
as interest, dividends, and any other earnings arising from assets of the account, shall be
credited to the account. Funds remaining in the account at the end of a fiscal year are not
canceled to the general fund but remain in the account until expended. The account shall
be administered by the commissioner of management and budget as provided under this
section.

(b) On July 1, 2017, the public utility that owns the Prairie Island nuclear generating
plant must transfer all funds in the renewable development account previously established
under this subdivision and managed by the public utility to the renewable development
account established in paragraph (a). Funds awarded to grantees in previous grant cycles
that have not yet been expended and unencumbered funds required to be paid in calendar
year 2017 under paragraphs new text begin(e) and new text end(f) deleted text beginand (g)deleted text end, and sections 116C.7792 and 216C.41, are
not subject to transfer under this paragraph.

(c) deleted text beginExcept as provided in subdivision 1a,deleted text end Beginning January 15, 2018, and continuing
each January 15 thereafter, the public utility that owns the Prairie Island new text beginand Monticello
new text end nuclear generating deleted text beginplantdeleted text endnew text begin plantsnew text end must transfer to the renewable development account deleted text begin$500,000
each year for each dry cask containing spent fuel that is located at the Prairie Island power
plant for
deleted text endnew text begin $20,000,000new text end each year deleted text beginthedeleted text endnew text begin eithernew text end plant is in operation, and deleted text begin$7,500,000 each year
the plant is not in operation
deleted text endnew text begin,new text end if ordered by the commission pursuant to paragraph deleted text begin(i).deleted text end new text begin(h),
$7,500,000 each year the Prairie Island plant is not in operation and $5,250,000 each year
the Monticello plant is not in operation.
new text endThe fund transfer must be made if nuclear waste is
stored in a dry cask at the independent spent-fuel storage facility at Prairie Island new text beginor
Monticello
new text endfor any part of a year.

deleted text begin (d) Except as provided in subdivision 1a, beginning January 15, 2018, and continuing
each January 15 thereafter, the public utility that owns the Monticello nuclear generating
plant must transfer to the renewable development account $350,000 each year for each dry
cask containing spent fuel that is located at the Monticello nuclear power plant for each
year the plant is in operation, and $5,250,000 each year the plant is not in operation if ordered
by the commission pursuant to paragraph (i). The fund transfer must be made if nuclear
waste is stored in a dry cask at the independent spent-fuel storage facility at Monticello for
any part of a year.
deleted text end

deleted text begin (e)deleted text endnew text begin (d)new text end Each year, the public utility shall withhold from the funds transferred to the
renewable development account under deleted text beginparagraphsdeleted text endnew text begin paragraphnew text end (c) deleted text beginand (d)deleted text end the amount necessary
to pay its obligations under paragraphs new text begin(e), new text end(f) deleted text beginand (g)deleted text end,new text begin (k), and (n),new text end and sections 116C.7792
and 216C.41, for that calendar year.

deleted text begin (f)deleted text endnew text begin (e)new text end If the commission approves a new or amended power purchase agreement, the
termination of a power purchase agreement, or the purchase and closure of a facility under
section 216B.2424, subdivision 9, with an entity that uses poultry litter to generate electricity,
the public utility subject to this section shall enter into a contract with the city in which the
poultry litter plant is located to provide grants to the city for the purposes of economic
development on the following schedule: $4,000,000 in fiscal year 2018; $6,500,000 each
fiscal year in 2019 and 2020; and $3,000,000 in fiscal year 2021. The grants shall be paid
by the public utility from funds withheld from the transfer to the renewable development
account, as provided in paragraphs (b) and deleted text begin(e)deleted text endnew text begin (d)new text end.

deleted text begin (g)deleted text end new text begin(f) new text endIf the commission approves a new or amended power purchase agreement, or the
termination of a power purchase agreement under section 216B.2424, subdivision 9, with
an entity owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by two municipal utilities located north
of Constitutional Route No. 8, that was previously used to meet the biomass mandate in
section 216B.2424, the public utility that owns a nuclear generating plant shall enter into a
grant contract with such entity to provide $6,800,000 per year for five years, commencing
30 days after the commission approves the new or amended power purchase agreement, or
the termination of the power purchase agreement, and on each June 1 thereafter through
2021, to assist the transition required by the new, amended, or terminated power purchase
agreement. The grant shall be paid by the public utility from funds withheld from the transfer
to the renewable development account as provided in paragraphs (b) and deleted text begin(e)deleted text endnew text begin (d)new text end.

deleted text begin (h)deleted text end new text begin(g) new text endThe collective amount paid under the grant contracts awarded under paragraphs
new text begin (e) and new text end(f) deleted text beginand (g)deleted text end is limited to the amount deposited into the renewable development account,
and its predecessor, the renewable development account, established under this section, that
was not required to be deposited into the account under Laws 1994, chapter 641, article 1,
section 10.

deleted text begin (i)deleted text endnew text begin (h)new text end After discontinuation of operation of the Prairie Island nuclear plant or the
Monticello nuclear plant and each year spent nuclear fuel is stored in dry cask at the
discontinued facility, the commission shall require the public utility to pay $7,500,000 for
the discontinued Prairie Island facility and $5,250,000 for the discontinued Monticello
facility for any year in which the commission finds, by the preponderance of the evidence,
that the public utility did not make a good faith effort to remove the spent nuclear fuel stored
at the facility to a permanent or interim storage site out of the state. This determination shall
be made at least every two years.

new text begin (i) The public utility shall file annually with the commission a petition to recover all
funds required to be transferred or withheld under paragraphs (c) to (f) for the next year
through a rider mechanism. The commission shall approve a reasonable cost recovery
schedule for all transferred or withheld funds.
new text end

new text begin (j) On or before January 15 of each year, the public utility shall file a petition with the
commission setting forth the amounts withheld by the public utility the prior year under
paragraph (d) and the amount actually paid the prior year for obligations identified in
paragraph (d). If the amount actually paid is less than the amount withheld, the public utility
shall deduct the surplus from the amount withheld for the current year under paragraph (d).
If the amount actually paid is more than the amount withheld, the public utility shall add
the deficiency amount to the amount withheld for the current year under paragraph (d). Any
surplus remaining in the account after all programs identified in paragraph (d) are terminated
must be returned to the customers of the public utility.
new text end

deleted text begin (j)deleted text endnew text begin (k)new text end Funds in the account may be expended only for any of the following purposes:

(1) to stimulate research and development of renewable electric energy technologies;

(2) to encourage grid modernization, including, but not limited to, projects that implement
electricity storage, load control, and smart meter technology; and

(3) to stimulate other innovative energy projects that reduce demand and increase system
efficiency and flexibility.

Expenditures from the fund must benefit Minnesota ratepayers receiving electric service
from the utility that owns a nuclear-powered electric generating plant in this state or the
Prairie Island Indian community or its members.

The utility that owns a nuclear generating plant is eligible to apply for grants under this
subdivision.

deleted text begin (k)deleted text endnew text begin (l)new text end For the purposes of paragraph deleted text begin(j)deleted text endnew text begin (k)new text end, the following terms have the meanings
given:

(1) "renewable" has the meaning given in section 216B.2422, subdivision 1, paragraph
(c), clauses (1), (2), (4), and (5); and

(2) "grid modernization" means:

(i) enhancing the reliability of the electrical grid;

(ii) improving the security of the electrical grid against cyberthreats and physical threats;
and

(iii) increasing energy conservation opportunities by facilitating communication between
the utility and its customers through the use of two-way meters, control technologies, energy
storage and microgrids, technologies to enable demand response, and other innovative
technologies.

deleted text begin (l)deleted text endnew text begin (m)new text end A renewable development account advisory group that includes, among others,
representatives of the public utility and its ratepayers, and includes at least one representative
of the Prairie Island Indian community appointed by that community's tribal council, shall
develop recommendations on account expenditures. new text beginMembers of the advisory group shall
be chosen by the public utility.
new text endThe advisory group must design a request for proposal and
evaluate projects submitted in response to a request for proposals. The advisory group must
utilize an independent third-party expert to evaluate proposals submitted in response to a
request for proposal, including all proposals made by the public utility. A request for proposal
for research and development under paragraph deleted text begin(j)deleted text endnew text begin (k)new text end, clause (1), may be limited to or include
a request to higher education institutions located in Minnesota for multiple projects authorized
under paragraph deleted text begin(j)deleted text endnew text begin (k)new text end, clause (1). The request for multiple projects may include a provision
that exempts the projects from the third-party expert review and instead provides for project
evaluation and selection by a merit peer review grant system. In the process of determining
request for proposal scope and subject and in evaluating responses to request for proposals,
the advisory group must strongly consider, where reasonable, potential benefit to Minnesota
citizens and businesses and the utility's ratepayers.

new text begin (n) The cost of acquiring the services of the independent third-party expert described in
paragraph (m) and any other reasonable costs incurred to administer the advisory group and
its actions as required by this section shall be paid from funds withheld by the public utility
under paragraph (d).
new text end

deleted text begin (m)deleted text end new text begin(o) new text endThe advisory group shall submit funding recommendations to the public utility,
which has full and sole authority to determine which expenditures shall be submitted by
the advisory group to the deleted text beginlegislaturedeleted text endnew text begin commissionnew text end. The commission may approve proposed
expenditures, may disapprove proposed expenditures that it finds not to be in compliance
with this subdivision or otherwise not in the public interest, and may, if agreed to by the
public utility, modify proposed expenditures. The commission shall, by order, submit its
funding recommendations to the legislature as provided under paragraph deleted text begin(n)deleted text endnew text begin (p)new text end.

deleted text begin (n)deleted text endnew text begin (p)new text end The commission shall present its recommended appropriations from the account
to the senate and house of representatives committees with jurisdiction over energy policy
and finance annually by February 15. Expenditures from the account must be appropriated
by law. In enacting appropriations from the account, the legislature:

(1) may approve or disapprove, but may not modify, the amount of an appropriation for
a project recommended by the commission; and

(2) may not appropriate money for a project the commission has not recommended
funding.

deleted text begin (o)deleted text endnew text begin (q)new text end A request for proposal for renewable energy generation projects must, when
feasible and reasonable, give preference to projects that are most cost-effective for a particular
energy source.

deleted text begin (p)deleted text endnew text begin (r)new text end The advisory group must annually, by February 15, report to the chairs and ranking
minority members of the legislative committees with jurisdiction over energy policy on
projects funded by the account new text beginunder paragraph (k) new text endfor the prior year and all previous years.
The report must, to the extent possible and reasonable, itemize the actual and projected
financial benefit to the public utility's ratepayers of each project.

new text begin (s) By June 1, 2018, and each June 1 thereafter, the public utility that owns the Prairie
Island nuclear generating plant must submit to the commissioner of management and budget
an estimate of the amount the public utility will deposit into the account the following
January 15, based on the provisions of paragraphs (c) to (h) and any appropriations made
from the fund during the most recent legislative sessions.
new text end

deleted text begin (q)deleted text endnew text begin (t)new text end By deleted text beginFebruary 1deleted text endnew text begin June 30new text end, 2018, and each deleted text beginFebruary 1deleted text end new text beginJune 30 new text endthereafter, the
commissioner of management and budget new text beginshall estimate the balance in the account as of
the following January 31, taking into account the balance in the account as of June 30 and
the information provided under paragraph (r). By July 15, 2018, and each July 15 thereafter,
the commissioner of management and budget
new text endshall submit a written report regarding the
availability of funds in and obligations of the account to the chairs and ranking minority
members of the senate and house committees with jurisdiction over energy policy and
finance, the public utility, and the advisory group.new text begin If more than $15,000,000 is estimated
to be available in the account as of January 31, the advisory group must, by July 30, 2018,
and each July 30 thereafter, issue a request for proposals to initiate a grant cycle for the
purposes of paragraph (k).
new text end

deleted text begin (r)deleted text endnew text begin (u)new text end A project receiving funds from the account must produce a written final report
that includes sufficient detail for technical readers and a clearly written summary for
nontechnical readers. The report must include an evaluation of the project's financial,
environmental, and other benefits to the state and the public utility's ratepayers.

deleted text begin (s)deleted text endnew text begin (v)new text end Final reports, any mid-project status reports, and renewable development account
financial reports must be posted online on a public website designated by the commissioner
of commerce.

deleted text begin (t)deleted text endnew text begin (w)new text end All final reports must acknowledge that the project was made possible in whole
or part by the Minnesota renewable development account, noting that the account is financed
by the public utility's ratepayers.

deleted text begin (u)deleted text endnew text begin (x)new text end Of the amount in the renewable development account, priority must be given to
making the payments required under section 216C.417.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

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