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    Subdivision 1. Alternative review. An applicant who seeks a site permit or route permit for
one of the projects identified in this section shall have the option of following the procedures in this
section rather than the procedures in section 216E.03. The applicant shall notify the commission
at the time the application is submitted which procedure the applicant chooses to follow.
    Subd. 2. Applicable projects. 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
(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.
    Subd. 3. Application. The applicant for a site or route permit for any of the projects listed in
subdivision 2 who chooses to follow these procedures shall submit information as the commission
may require, but the applicant shall not be required to propose a second site or route for the
project. The applicant shall identify in the application any other sites or routes that were rejected
by the applicant and the commission may identify additional sites or routes to consider during the
processing of the application. The commission shall determine whether an application is complete
and advise the applicant of any deficiencies.
    Subd. 4. Notice of application. Upon submission of an application under this section, the
applicant shall provide the same notice as required by section 216E.03, subdivision 4.
    Subd. 5. Environmental review. For the projects identified in subdivision 2 and following
these procedures, the commissioner of the Department of Commerce shall prepare for the
commission an environmental assessment. The environmental assessment shall contain
information on the human and environmental impacts of the proposed project and other sites or
routes identified by the commission and shall address mitigating measures for all of the sites or
routes considered. The environmental assessment shall be the only state environmental review
document required to be prepared on the project.
    Subd. 6. Public hearing. The commission shall hold a public hearing in the area where the
facility is proposed to be located. The commission shall give notice of the public hearing in the
same manner as notice under section 216E.03, subdivision 6. The commission shall conduct the
public hearing under procedures established by the commission. The applicant shall be present
at the hearing to present evidence and to answer questions. The commission shall provide
opportunity at the public hearing for any person to present comments and to ask questions of
the applicant and commission staff. The commission shall also afford interested persons an
opportunity to submit written comments into the record.
    Subd. 7. Timing. The commission shall make a final decision on an application within 60
days after completion of the public hearing. A final decision on the request for a site permit
or route permit under this section shall be made within six months after the commission's
determination that an application is complete. The commission may extend this time limit for up
to three months for just cause or upon agreement of the applicant.
    Subd. 8. Considerations. The considerations in section 216E.03, subdivision 7, shall apply
to any projects subject to this section.
    Subd. 9. Final decision. (a) No site permit shall be issued in violation of the site selection
standards and criteria established in this section and in rules adopted by the commission. When
the commission designates a site, it shall issue a site permit to the applicant with any appropriate
conditions. The commission shall publish a notice of its decision in the State Register within 30
days of issuance of the site permit.
(b) No route designation shall be made in violation of the route selection standards and
criteria established in this section and in rules adopted by the commission. When the commission
designates a route, it shall issue a permit for the construction of a high-voltage transmission
line specifying the design, routing, right-of-way preparation, and facility construction it deems
necessary and with any other appropriate conditions. The commission may order the construction
of high-voltage transmission line facilities that are capable of expansion in transmission capacity
through multiple circuiting or design modifications. The commission shall publish a notice of its
decision in the State Register within 30 days of issuance of the permit.
History: 2001 c 212 art 7 s 14; 2005 c 97 art 3 s 7,19

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes