216B.1694 INNOVATIVE ENERGY PROJECT.
Subdivision 1. Definition.
For the purposes of this section, the term "innovative energy
project" means a proposed energy-generation facility or group of facilities which may be located
on up to three sites:
(1) that makes use of an innovative generation technology utilizing coal as a primary fuel in
a highly efficient combined-cycle configuration with significantly reduced sulfur dioxide, nitrogen
oxide, particulate, and mercury emissions from those of traditional technologies;
(2) that the project developer or owner certifies is a project capable of offering a long-term
supply contract at a hedged, predictable cost; and
(3) that is designated by the commissioner of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation
Board as a project that is located in the taconite tax relief area on a site that has substantial real
property with adequate infrastructure to support new or expanded development and that has
received prior financial and other support from the board.
Subd. 2. Regulatory incentives.
(a) An innovative energy project:
(1) is exempted from the requirements for a certificate of need under section
the generation facilities, and transmission infrastructure associated with the generation facilities,
but is subject to all applicable environmental review and permitting procedures of chapter 216E;
(2) once permitted and constructed, is eligible to increase the capacity of the associated
transmission facilities without additional state review upon filing notice with the commission;
(3) has the power of eminent domain, which shall be limited to the sites and routes approved
by the Environmental Quality Board for the project facilities. The project shall be considered a
utility as defined in section
216E.01, subdivision 10
, for the limited purpose of section
The project shall report any intent to exercise eminent domain authority to the board;
(4) shall qualify as a "clean energy technology" as defined in section
(5) shall, prior to the approval by the commission of any arrangement to build or expand a
fossil-fuel-fired generation facility, or to enter into an agreement to purchase capacity or energy
from such a facility for a term exceeding five years, be considered as a supply option for the
generation facility, and the commission shall ensure such consideration and take any action with
respect to such supply proposal that it deems to be in the best interest of ratepayers;
(6) shall make a good faith effort to secure funding from the United States Department of
Energy and the United States Department of Agriculture to conduct a demonstration project at the
facility for either geologic or terrestrial carbon sequestration projects to achieve reductions in
facility emissions or carbon dioxide;
(7) shall be entitled to enter into a contract with a public utility that owns a nuclear generation
facility in the state to provide 450 megawatts of baseload capacity and energy under a long-term
contract, subject to the approval of the terms and conditions of the contract by the commission.
The commission may approve, disapprove, amend, or modify the contract in making its public
interest determination, taking into consideration the project's economic development benefits to
the state; the use of abundant domestic fuel sources; the stability of the price of the output from
the project; the project's potential to contribute to a transition to hydrogen as a fuel resource; and
the emission reductions achieved compared to other solid fuel baseload technologies; and
(8) shall be eligible for a grant from the renewable development account, subject to the
approval of the entity administering that account, of $2,000,000 a year for five years for
development and engineering costs, including those costs related to mercury-removal technology;
thermal efficiency optimization and emission minimization; environmental impact statement
preparation and licensing; development of hydrogen production capabilities; and fuel cell
development and utilization.
(b) This subdivision does not apply to nor affect a proposal to add utility-owned resources
that is pending on May 29, 2003, before the Public Utilities Commission or to competitive bid
solicitations to provide capacity or energy that is scheduled to be on line by December 31, 2006.
History: 1Sp2003 c 11 art 4 s 1