language to be deleted (2) new language
relating to energy; modifying, adding, or authorizing provisions governing medically necessary equipment, propane sales, low-income rate discounts, interconnection of distributed generation, electric vehicle charging tariffs, on-bill repayment programs, energy efficiency programs, emissions reduction planning, certificates of need, solar energy systems, transmission lines, and low-income home energy assistance; repealing certain obsolete administrative rules; requiring a report;
amending Minnesota Statutes 2012, sections 16C.144, subdivision 3; 216B.098, subdivision 5; 216B.16, subdivision 14; 216B.1611, by adding a subdivision; 216B.241, by adding a subdivision; 216B.2422, by adding a subdivision; 216B.243, subdivision 8; 216C.41, subdivision 4; 216C.436, subdivision 4, by adding a subdivision; 216E.01, by adding a subdivision; 216E.04, subdivision 2; 239.051, subdivision 29; 239.785, by adding a subdivision; 325E.027; Laws 2013, chapter 57, section 2; Laws 2014, chapter 145, section 1; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 216B; 216E; repealing Minnesota Rules, parts 3300.0800; 3300.0900; 3300.1000, subparts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 25a, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36; 3300.1100; 3300.1200; 3300.1300; 3300.1400; 3300.1500; 3300.1600; 3300.1700; 3300.1800; 3300.1900; 7607.0100; 7607.0110; 7607.0120; 7607.0130; 7607.0140; 7607.0150; 7607.0160; 7607.0170; 7607.0180; 7685.0100; 7685.0120; 7685.0130; 7685.0140.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
The commissioner may enter into a lease purchase agreement with any party for the implementation of utility cost-savings measures in accordance with the guaranteed energy-savings agreement. The implementation costs of the utility cost-savings measures recommended in the engineering report shall not exceed the amount to be saved in utility and operation and maintenance costs over the term of the lease purchase agreement. The term of the lease purchase agreement shall not exceed 15 years from the date of final installation. The lease is assignable in accordance with terms approved by the commissioner of management and budget.
A utility shall reconnect or continue service to a customer's residence where a medical emergency exists or where medical equipment requiring electricity necessary to sustain life is in use, provided that the utility receives from a medical doctor written certification, or initial certification by telephone and written certification within five business days, that failure to reconnect or continue service will impair or threaten the health or safety of a resident of the customer's household. The customer must enter into a payment agreement.
A public utility shall fund an affordability program for low-income customers in an amount based on a 50 percent electric rate discount on the first 400 kilowatt-hours consumed in a billing period for low-income residential customers of the utility. For the purposes of this subdivision, "low-income" describes a customer who is receiving assistance from the federal low-income home energy assistance program. The affordability program must be designed to target participating customers with the lowest incomes and highest energy costs in order to lower the percentage of income they devote to energy bills, increase their payments, and lower costs associated with collection activities on their accounts. For low-income customers who are 62 years of age or older or disabled, the program must, in addition to any other program benefits, include a 50 percent electric rate discount on the first 400 kilowatt-hours consumed in a billing period. For the purposes of this subdivision, "public utility" includes only those public utilities with more than 200,000 residential electric service customers. The commission may issue orders necessary to implement, administer, and recover the costs of the program on a timely basis.
This section does not apply to:
(1) cogeneration or small power production facilities as defined in the Federal Power Act, United States Code, title 16, section 796, paragraph (17), subparagraph (A), and paragraph (18), subparagraph (A), and having a combined capacity at a single site of less than 80,000 kilowatts; plants or facilities for the production of ethanol or fuel alcohol; or any case where the commission has determined after being advised by the attorney general that its application has been preempted by federal law;
(2) a high-voltage transmission line proposed primarily to distribute electricity to serve the demand of a single customer at a single location, unless the applicant opts to request that the commission determine need under this section or section 216B.2425;
(3) the upgrade to a higher voltage of an existing transmission line that serves the demand of a single customer that primarily uses existing rights-of-way, unless the applicant opts to request that the commission determine need under this section or section 216B.2425;
(4) a high-voltage transmission line of one mile or less required to connect a new or upgraded substation to an existing, new, or upgraded high-voltage transmission line;
(5) conversion of the fuel source of an existing electric generating plant to using natural gas; or
(6) the modification of an existing electric generating plant to increase efficiency, as long as the capacity of the plant is not increased more than ten percent or more than 100 megawatts, whichever is greater.
(a) A facility may receive payments under this section for a ten-year period. No payment under this section may be made for electricity generated:
(1) by a qualified hydroelectric facility after December 31, 2021;
(2) by a qualified wind energy conversion facility after December 31, 2018; or
(3) by a qualified on-farm biogas recovery facility after December 31, 2015.
(b) The payment period begins and runs consecutively from the date the facility begins generating electricity or, in the case of refurbishment of a hydropower facility, after substantial repairs to the hydropower facility dam funded by the incentive payments are initiated.
Financing provided under this section must have:
(1) a weighted average maturity not exceeding the useful life of the energy improvements installed, as determined by the implementing entity, but in no event may a term exceed 20 years;
(2) a principal amount not to exceed the lesser of ten percent of the assessed value of the real property on which the improvements are to be installed or the actual cost of installing the energy improvements, including the costs of necessary equipment, materials, and labor, the costs of each related energy audit or renewable energy system feasibility study, and the cost of verification of installation; and
(3) an interest rate sufficient to pay the financing costs of the program, including the issuance of bonds and any financing delinquencies.
The requirements and procedures in this section apply to the following projects:
(1) large electric power generating plants with a capacity of less than 80 megawatts;
(2) large electric power generating plants that are fueled by natural gas;
(3) high-voltage transmission lines of between 100 and 200 kilovolts;
(4) high-voltage transmission lines in excess of 200 kilovolts and less than five miles in length in Minnesota;
(5) high-voltage transmission lines in excess of 200 kilovolts if at least 80 percent of the distance of the line in Minnesota will be located along existing high-voltage transmission line right-of-way;
(6) a high-voltage transmission line service extension to a single customer between 200 and 300 kilovolts and less than ten miles in length; and
(7) a high-voltage transmission line rerouting to serve the demand of a single customer when the rerouted line will be located at least 80 percent on property owned or controlled by the customer or the owner of the transmission line
"Refinery" or "terminal" means a petroleum refinery, pipeline terminal, river terminal, storage facility, or other point of origin where petroleum products are manufactured, or imported by rail, truck, barge, or pipe; and held, stored, transferred, offered for distribution, distributed, offered for sale, or sold. For the purpose of restricting petroleum product blending, this definition includes all refineries and terminals within and outside of Minnesota, but does not include a licensed distributor's bulk storage facility that is used to store petroleum products for which the petroleum inspection fee charged under this chapter is either not due or has been paid.
(a) No dealer or distributor of liquid propane gas or number 1 or number 2 fuel oil who has signed a low-income home energy assistance program vendor agreement with the Department of Commerce may refuse to deliver liquid propane gas or number 1 or number 2 fuel oil to any person located within the dealer's or distributor's normal delivery area who receives direct grants under the low-income home energy assistance program if:
(1) the person has requested delivery;
(2) the dealer or distributor has product available;
(3) the person requesting delivery is capable of making full payment at the time of delivery; and
(4) the person is not in arrears regarding any previous fuel purchase from that dealer or distributor.
(b) A dealer or distributor making delivery to a person receiving direct grants under the low-income home energy assistance program may not charge that person any additional costs or fees that would not be charged to any other customer and must make available to that person any discount program on the same basis as the dealer or distributor makes available to any other customer.
(a) A high-voltage transmission line with a capacity of 100 kilovolts or more proposed to be located within a city in the metropolitan area as defined in Minnesota Statutes, section 473.121, subdivision 2, for which a route permit application was filed between June 2011 and August 2011, and a certificate of need application was filed between June 2012 and August 2012, to rebuild approximately eight miles of 69 kilovolt transmission with a high-voltage transmission line to meet local area distribution needs, must be approved in a certificate of need proceeding conducted under Minnesota Statutes, section 216B.243. The certificate of need may be approved only if the commission finds by clear and convincing evidence that there is no feasible and available distribution level alternative to the transmission line. In making its findings the commission shall consider the factors provided in applicable law and rules including, without limitation, cost-effectiveness, energy conservation, and the protection or enhancement of environmental quality.
(b) Further proceedings regarding the routing of a high-voltage transmission line described in this section shall be suspended until the Public Utilities Commission has made a determination that the transmission line is needed.
(a) $20,000,000 is appropriated in fiscal year 2014 from the general fund to the commissioner of commerce for the purpose of providing additional heating assistance through the low-income home energy assistance program under United States Code, title 42, sections 8621 to 8630, and Minnesota Statutes, section 216C.02, subdivision 1. No more than five percent of this appropriation may be used for expenses to administer the program. Any unspent balance available on June 30, 2014, cancels to the general fund.
(b) The funding provided in this section shall supplement, and not replace, any federal or other funding existing or otherwise available for heating assistance in Minnesota.
(c) The commissioner shall disburse the funds provided in this section in a manner consistent with the requirements of the federal low-income home energy assistance program under United States Code, title 42, sections 8621 to 8630.
Presented to the governor May 13, 2014
Signed by the governor May 16, 2014, 10:03 a.m.