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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

216B.1691 RENEWABLE ENERGY OBJECTIVES.
    Subdivision 1. Definitions. (a) Unless otherwise specified in law, "eligible energy
technology" means an energy technology that:
(1) generates electricity from the following renewable energy sources: solar; wind;
hydroelectric with a capacity of less than 60 megawatts; hydrogen, provided that after January 1,
2010, the hydrogen must be generated from the resources listed in this clause; or biomass, which
includes an energy recovery facility used to capture the heat value of mixed municipal solid waste
or refuse-derived fuel from mixed municipal solid waste as a primary fuel; and
(2) was not mandated by Laws 1994, chapter 641, or by commission order issued pursuant to
that chapter prior to August 1, 2001.
(b) "Electric utility" means a public utility providing electric service, a generation and
transmission cooperative electric association, or a municipal power agency.
(c) "Total retail electric sales" means the kilowatt-hours of electricity sold in a year by an
electric utility to retail customers of the electric utility or to a distribution utility for distribution to
the retail customers of the distribution utility.
    Subd. 2. Eligible energy objectives. (a) Each electric utility shall make a good faith effort to
generate or procure sufficient electricity generated by an eligible energy technology to provide
its retail consumers, or the retail customers of a distribution utility to which the electric utility
provides wholesale electric service, so that:
(1) commencing in 2005, at least one percent of the electric utility's total retail electric sales
is generated by eligible energy technologies;
(2) the amount provided under clause (1) is increased by one percent of the utility's total
retail electric sales each year until 2015; and
(3) ten percent of the electric energy provided to retail customers in Minnesota is generated
by eligible energy technologies.
(b) Of the eligible energy technology generation required under paragraph (a), clauses (1)
and (2), not less than 0.5 percent of the energy must be generated by biomass energy technologies,
including an energy recovery facility used to capture the heat value of mixed municipal solid
waste or refuse-derived fuel from mixed municipal solid waste as a primary fuel, by 2005. By
2010, one percent of the eligible technology generation required under paragraph (a), clauses (1)
and (2), shall be generated by biomass energy technologies. An energy recovery facility used
to capture the heat value of mixed municipal solid waste or refuse-derived fuel from mixed
municipal solid waste, with a power sales agreement in effect as of May 29, 2003, that terminates
after December 31, 2010, does not qualify as an eligible energy technology unless the agreement
provides for rate adjustment in the event the facility qualifies as a renewable energy source.
(c) By June 1, 2004, and as needed thereafter, the commission shall issue an order detailing
the criteria and standards by which it will measure an electric utility's efforts to meet the
renewable energy objectives of this section to determine whether the utility is making the required
good faith effort. In this order, the commission shall include criteria and standards that protect
against undesirable impacts on the reliability of the utility's system and economic impacts on the
utility's ratepayers and that consider technical feasibility.
(d) In its order under paragraph (c), the commission shall provide for a weighted scale of how
energy produced by various eligible energy technologies shall count toward a utility's objective.
In establishing this scale, the commission shall consider the attributes of various technologies
and fuels, and shall establish a system that grants multiple credits toward the objectives for those
technologies and fuels the commission determines is in the public interest to encourage.
    Subd. 3. Utility plans filed with commission. (a) Each electric utility shall report on its
plans, activities, and progress with regard to these objectives in its filings under section 216B.2422
or in a separate report submitted to the commission every two years, whichever is more frequent,
demonstrating to the commission that the utility is making the required good faith effort. In its
resource plan or a separate report, each electric utility shall provide a description of:
(1) the status of the utility's renewable energy mix relative to the good faith objective;
(2) efforts taken to meet the objective;
(3) any obstacles encountered or anticipated in meeting the objective; and
(4) potential solutions to the obstacles.
(b) The commissioner shall compile the information provided to the commission under
paragraph (a), and report to the chairs of the house of representatives and senate committees
with jurisdiction over energy and environment policy issues as to the progress of utilities in
the state in increasing the amount of renewable energy provided to retail customers, with any
recommendations for regulatory or legislative action, by January 15 of each odd-numbered year.
    Subd. 4. Renewable energy credits. (a) To facilitate compliance with this section, the
commission, by rule or order, may establish a program for tradable credits for electricity
generated by an eligible energy technology. In doing so, the commission shall implement a
system that constrains or limits the cost of credits, taking care to ensure that such a system does
not undermine the market for those credits.
(b) In lieu of generating or procuring energy directly to satisfy the renewable energy
objective of this section, an electric utility may purchase sufficient renewable energy credits,
issued pursuant to this subdivision, to meet its objective.
(c) Upon the passage of a renewable energy standard, portfolio, or objective in a bordering
state that includes a similar definition of eligible energy technology or renewable energy, the
commission may facilitate the trading of renewable energy credits between states.
    Subd. 5. Technology based on fuel combustion. (a) Electricity produced by fuel combustion
may only count toward a utility's objectives if the generation facility:
(1) was constructed in compliance with new source performance standards promulgated
under the federal Clean Air Act for a generation facility of that type; or
(2) employs the maximum achievable or best available control technology available for a
generation facility of that type.
(b) An eligible energy technology may blend or co-fire a fuel listed in subdivision 1,
paragraph (a), clause (1), with other fuels in the generation facility, but only the percentage of
electricity that is attributable to a fuel listed in that clause can be counted toward an electric
utility's renewable energy objectives.
    Subd. 6. Electric utility that owns nuclear generation facility. (a) An electric utility that
owns a nuclear generation facility, as part of its good faith effort under this subdivision and
subdivision 2, shall deploy an additional 300 megawatts of nameplate capacity of wind energy
conversion systems by 2010, beyond the amount of wind energy capacity to which the utility is
required by law or commission order as of May 1, 2003. At least 100 megawatts of this capacity
are to be wind energy conversion systems of two megawatts or less, which shall not be eligible
for the production incentive under section 216C.41. To the greatest extent technically feasible
and economic, these 300 megawatts of wind energy capacity are to be distributed geographically
throughout the state. The utility may opt to own, construct, and operate up to 100 megawatts of
this wind energy capacity, except that the utility may not own, construct, or operate any of the
facilities that are under two megawatts of nameplate capacity. The deployment of the wind energy
capacity under this subdivision must be consistent with the outcome of the engineering study
required under Laws 2003, First Special Session chapter 11, article 2, section 21.
(b) The renewable energy objective set forth in subdivision 2 shall be a requirement for the
public utility that owns the Prairie Island nuclear generation plant. The objective is a requirement
subject to resource planning and least-cost planning requirements in section 216B.2422, unless
implementation of the objective can reasonably be shown to jeopardize the reliability of the
electric system. The least-cost planning analysis must include the costs of ancillary services and
other necessary generation and transmission upgrades.
(c) Also as part of its good faith effort under this section, the utility that owns a nuclear
generation facility is to enter into a power purchase agreement by January 1, 2004, for ten to
20 megawatts of biomass energy and capacity at an all-inclusive price not to exceed $55 per
megawatt-hour, for a project described in section 216B.2424, subdivision 5, paragraph (e), clause
(2). The project must be operational and producing energy by June 30, 2005.
History: 2001 c 212 art 8 s 3; 2002 c 398 s 3; 1Sp2003 c 11 art 2 s 3