The commission shall maintain a list of certified high-voltage transmission line projects.
(a) By November 1 of each odd-numbered year, a transmission projects report must be submitted to the commission by each utility, organization, or company that:
(1) is a public utility, a municipal utility, a cooperative electric association, the generation and transmission organization that serves each utility or association, or a transmission company; and
(2) owns or operates electric transmission lines in Minnesota.
(b) The report may be submitted jointly or individually to the commission.
(c) The report must:
(1) list specific present and reasonably foreseeable future inadequacies in the transmission system in Minnesota;
(2) identify alternative means of addressing each inadequacy listed;
(3) identify general economic, environmental, and social issues associated with each alternative; and
(4) provide a summary of public input related to the list of inadequacies and the role of local government officials and other interested persons in assisting to develop the list and analyze alternatives.
(d) To meet the requirements of this subdivision, reporting parties may rely on available information and analysis developed by a regional transmission organization or any subgroup of a regional transmission organization and may develop and include additional information as necessary.
By June 1 of each even-numbered year, the commission shall adopt a state transmission project list and shall certify, certify as modified, or deny certification of the projects proposed under subdivision 2. The commission may only certify a project that is a high-voltage transmission line as defined in section 216B.2421, subdivision 2, that the commission finds is:
(1) necessary to maintain or enhance the reliability of electric service to Minnesota consumers;
(2) needed, applying the criteria in section 216B.243, subdivision 3; and
(3) in the public interest, taking into account electric energy system needs and economic, environmental, and social interests affected by the project.
Certification of a project as a priority electric transmission project satisfies section 216B.243. A certified project on which construction has not begun more than six years after being placed on the list, must be reapproved by the commission.
The Department of Commerce shall create, maintain, and update annually an inventory of transmission lines in the state.
This section does not apply to any transmission line proposal that has been approved by, or was pending before, a local unit of government, the Environmental Quality Board, or the Public Utilities Commission on August 1, 2001.
(a) Each entity subject to this section shall determine necessary transmission upgrades to support development of renewable energy resources required to meet objectives under section 216B.1691 and shall include those upgrades in its report under subdivision 2.
(b) Transmission projects determined by the commission to be necessary to support a utility's plan under section 216B.1691 to meet its obligations under that section must be certified as a priority electric transmission project, satisfying the requirements of section 216B.243. In determining that a proposed transmission project is necessary to support a utility's plan under section 216B.1691, the commission must find that the applicant has met the following factors:
(1) that the transmission facility is necessary to allow the delivery of power from renewable sources of energy to retail customers in Minnesota;
(2) that the applicant has signed or will sign power purchase agreements, subject to commission approval, for resources to meet the renewable energy objective that are dependent upon or will use the capacity of the transmission facility to serve retail customers in Minnesota;
(3) that the installation and commercial operation date of the renewable resources to satisfy the renewable energy objective will match the planned in-service date of the transmission facility; and
(4) that the proposed transmission facility is consistent with a least-cost solution to the utility's need for additional electricity.
NOTE: Subdivision 7, paragraph (b), as added by Laws 2005, chapter 97, article 2, section 3, expires January 1, 2010. Laws 2005, chapter 97, article 2, section 7.