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    Subdivision 1. Generally. Nothing in this section shall invalidate the power of eminent
domain vested in utilities by statute or common law existing as of May 24, 1973, except to the
extent modified herein. The power of eminent domain shall continue to exist for utilities and
may be used according to law to accomplish any of the purposes and objectives of this chapter,
including acquisition of the right to utilize existing high-voltage transmission facilities which are
capable of expansion or modification to accommodate both existing and proposed conductors.
Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, all easement interests shall revert to the then fee owner
if a route is not used for high-voltage transmission line purposes for a period of five years.
    Subd. 2. Conduct of proceedings. In eminent domain proceedings by a utility for the
acquisition of real property proposed for construction of a route or a site, the proceedings shall
be conducted in the manner prescribed in chapter 117, except as otherwise specifically provided
in this section.
    Subd. 3. Payment. When such property is acquired by eminent domain proceedings or
voluntary purchase and the amount the owner shall receive for the property is finally determined,
the owner who is entitled to payment may elect to have the amount paid in not more than ten
annual installments, with interest on the deferred installments, at the rate of eight percent per
annum on the unpaid balance, by submitting a written request to the utility before any payment
has been made. After the first installment is paid the petitioner may make its final certificate, as
provided by law, in the same manner as though the entire amount had been paid.
    Subd. 4. Contiguous land. When private real property that is an agricultural or
nonagricultural homestead, nonhomestead agricultural land, rental residential property, and both
commercial and noncommercial seasonal residential recreational property, as those terms are
defined in section 273.13 is proposed to be acquired for the construction of a site or route for a
high-voltage transmission line with a capacity of 200 kilovolts or more by eminent domain
proceedings, the fee owner, or when applicable, the fee owner with the written consent of the
contract for deed vendee, or the contract for deed vendee with the written consent of the fee
owner, shall have the option to require the utility to condemn a fee interest in any amount of
contiguous, commercially viable land which the owner or vendee wholly owns or has contracted
to own in undivided fee and elects in writing to transfer to the utility within 60 days after receipt
of the notice of the objects of the petition filed pursuant to section 117.055. Commercial viability
shall be determined without regard to the presence of the utility route or site. The owner or, when
applicable, the contract vendee shall have only one such option and may not expand or otherwise
modify an election without the consent of the utility. The required acquisition of land pursuant
to this subdivision shall be considered an acquisition for a public purpose and for use in the
utility's business, for purposes of chapter 117 and section 500.24, respectively; provided that a
utility shall divest itself completely of all such lands used for farming or capable of being used
for farming not later than the time it can receive the market value paid at the time of acquisition
of lands less any diminution in value by reason of the presence of the utility route or site. Upon
the owner's election made under this subdivision, the easement interest over and adjacent to the
lands designated by the owner to be acquired in fee, sought in the condemnation petition for a
right-of-way for a high-voltage transmission line with a capacity of 200 kilovolts or more shall
automatically be converted into a fee taking.
    Subd. 5. Notification. A utility shall notify by certified mail each person who has transferred
any interest in real property to the utility after July 1, 1974, but prior to the effective date of Laws
1977, chapter 439, for the purpose of a site or route that the person may elect in writing within
90 days after receipt of notice to require the utility to acquire any remaining contiguous parcel
of land pursuant to this section or to return any payment to the utility and require it to make
installment payments pursuant to this section.
History: 1973 c 591 s 13; 1977 c 439 s 17; 1978 c 674 s 15; 1980 c 614 s 87; 1Sp1985 c 14
art 4 s 15; 1986 c 444; 1Sp1986 c 1 art 4 s 7; 1987 c 268 art 6 s 1; 2002 c 398 s 1; 2006 c 214 s 20

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes