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    Subdivision 1. Responsibilities. (a) There is established the position of reliability
administrator in the Public Utilities Commission. The administrator shall act as a source of
independent expertise and a technical advisor to the commission and the public on issues related
to the reliability of the electric system. In conducting its work, the administrator shall provide
assistance to the commission in administering and implementing the commission's duties under
sections 216B.2422, 216B.2425, and 216B.243; chapters 216E, 216F, and 216G; and rules
associated with those provisions. Subject to resource constraints, the reliability administrator
may also:
(1) model and monitor the use and operation of the energy infrastructure in the state, including
generation facilities, transmission lines, natural gas pipelines, and other energy infrastructure;
(2) develop and present to the commission and parties technical analyses of proposed
infrastructure projects, and provide technical advice to the commission;
(3) present independent, factual, expert, and technical information on infrastructure proposals
and reliability issues at public meetings hosted by the task force, the Environmental Quality
Board, the department, or the commission.
(b) Upon request and subject to resource constraints, the administrator shall provide technical
assistance regarding matters unrelated to applications for infrastructure improvements to the
task force, the department, or the commission.
(c) The administrator may not advocate for any particular outcome in a commission
proceeding, but may give technical advice to the commission as to the impact on the reliability of
the energy system of a particular project or projects.
    Subd. 2. Administrative issues. (a) The commission may select the administrator who
shall serve for a four-year term. The administrator may not have been a party or a participant in
a commission energy proceeding for at least one year prior to selection by the commission.
The commission shall oversee and direct the work of the administrator, annually review the
expenses of the administrator, and annually approve the budget of the administrator. Pursuant to
commission approval, the administrator may hire staff and may contract for technical expertise
in performing duties when existing state resources are required for other state responsibilities
or when special expertise is required. The salary of the administrator is governed by section
15A.0815, subdivision 2.
(b) Costs relating to a specific proceeding, analysis, or project are not general administrative
costs. For purposes of this section, "energy utility" means public utilities, generation and
transmission cooperative electric associations, and municipal power agencies providing natural
gas or electric service in the state.
(c) The commission shall pay:
(1) the general administrative costs of the administrator, not to exceed $1,000,000 in a
fiscal year, and shall assess energy utilities for those administrative costs. These costs must be
consistent with the budget approved by the commission under paragraph (a). The commission
shall apportion the costs among all energy utilities in proportion to their respective gross operating
revenues from sales of gas or electric service within the state during the last calendar year, and
shall then render a bill to each utility on a regular basis; and
(2) costs relating to a specific proceeding analysis or project and shall render a bill to the
specific energy utility or utilities participating in the proceeding, analysis, or project directly,
either at the conclusion of a particular proceeding, analysis, or project, or from time to time during
the course of the proceeding, analysis, or project.
(d) For purposes of administrative efficiency, the commission shall assess energy utilities and
issue bills in accordance with the billing and assessment procedures provided in section 216B.62,
to the extent that these procedures do not conflict with this subdivision. The amount of the bills
rendered by the commission under paragraph (c) must be paid by the energy utility into an account
in the special revenue fund in the state treasury within 30 days from the date of billing and is
appropriated to the commission for the purposes provided in this section. The commission shall
approve or approve as modified a rate schedule providing for the automatic adjustment of charges
to recover amounts paid by utilities under this section. All amounts assessed under this section are
in addition to amounts appropriated to the commission by other law.
    Subd. 3. Assessment and appropriation. In addition to the amount noted in subdivision 2,
the commission may assess utilities, using the mechanism specified in that subdivision, up to an
additional $500,000 annually through June 30, 2008. The amounts assessed under this subdivision
are appropriated to the commission, and some or all of the amounts assessed may be transferred to
the commissioner of administration, for the purposes specified in section 16B.325 and Laws 2001,
chapter 212, article 1, section 3, as needed to implement those sections.
    Subd. 4. Expiration. Subdivisions 1 and 2 expire June 30, 2007. Subdivision 3 expires
June 30, 2008.
History: 2001 c 212 art 8 s 10,18; 2002 c 398 s 5; 1Sp2003 c 11 art 3 s 10,11; 2005 c 97
art 3 s 16; 2006 c 281 art 4 s 10,11

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes