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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

116C.779 FUNDING FOR RENEWABLE DEVELOPMENT.

Subdivision 1.Renewable development account.

(a) The public utility that owns the Prairie Island nuclear generating plant must transfer to a renewable development account $500,000 each year for each dry cask containing spent fuel that is located at the Prairie Island power plant for each year the plant is in operation, and $7,500,000 each year the plant is not in operation if ordered by the commission pursuant to paragraph (d). The fund transfer must be made if nuclear waste is stored in a dry cask at the independent spent-fuel storage facility at Prairie Island for any part of a year. Funds in the account may be expended only for development of renewable energy sources. Preference must be given to development of renewable energy source projects located within the state. The utility that owns a nuclear generating plant is eligible to apply for renewable development fund grants. The utility's proposals must be evaluated by the renewable development fund board in a manner consistent with that used to evaluate other renewable development fund project proposals.

(b) The public utility that owns the Monticello nuclear generating plant must transfer to the renewable development account $350,000 each year for each dry cask containing spent fuel that is located at the Monticello nuclear power plant for each year the plant is in operation, and $5,250,000 each year the plant is not in operation if ordered by the commission pursuant to paragraph (d). The fund transfer must be made if nuclear waste is stored in a dry cask at the independent spent-fuel storage facility at Monticello for any part of a year.

(c) Expenditures authorized by this subdivision from the account may only be made after approval by order of the Public Utilities Commission upon a petition by the public utility. Commission approval is not required for expenditures required under subdivisions 2 and 3, section 116C.7791, or other law.

(d) After discontinuation of operation of the Prairie Island nuclear plant or the Monticello nuclear plant and each year spent nuclear fuel is stored in dry cask at the discontinued facility, the commission shall require the public utility to pay $7,500,000 for the discontinued Prairie Island facility and $5,250,000 for the discontinued Monticello facility for any year in which the commission finds, by the preponderance of the evidence, that the public utility did not make a good faith effort to remove the spent nuclear fuel stored at the facility to a permanent or interim storage site out of the state. This determination shall be made at least every two years.

[See Note.]

Subd. 2.Renewable energy production incentive.

(a) Until January 1, 2021, $10,900,000 annually must be allocated from available funds in the account to fund renewable energy production incentives. $9,400,000 of this annual amount is for incentives for electricity generated by wind energy conversion systems that are eligible for the incentives under section 216C.41 or Laws 2005, chapter 40.

(b) The balance of this amount, up to $1,500,000 annually, may be used for production incentives for on-farm biogas recovery facilities and hydroelectric facilities that are eligible for the incentive under section 216C.41 or for production incentives for other renewables, to be provided in the same manner as under section 216C.41.

(c) Any portion of the $10,900,000 not expended in any calendar year for the incentive is available for other spending purposes under this section. This subdivision does not create an obligation to contribute funds to the account.

(d) The Department of Commerce shall determine eligibility of projects under section 216C.41 for the purposes of this subdivision. At least quarterly, the Department of Commerce shall notify the public utility of the name and address of each eligible project owner and the amount due to each project under section 216C.41. The public utility shall make payments within 15 working days after receipt of notification of payments due.

Subd. 3.Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment.

(a) Beginning July 1, 2009, and each July 1 through 2011, $5,000,000 must be allocated from the renewable development account to fund a grant to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota for the Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment for the purposes described in paragraph (b). The Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment must set aside at least 15 percent of the funds received annually under the grant for qualified projects conducted at a rural campus or experiment station. Any set-aside funds not awarded to a rural campus or experiment station at the end of the fiscal year revert back to the Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment for its exclusive use. This subdivision does not create an obligation to contribute funds to the account.

(b) Activities funded under this grant may include, but are not limited to:

(1) environmentally sound production of energy from a renewable energy source, including biomass and agricultural crops;

(2) environmentally sound production of hydrogen from biomass and any other renewable energy source for energy storage and energy utilization;

(3) development of energy conservation and efficient energy utilization technologies;

(4) energy storage technologies; and

(5) analysis of policy options to facilitate adoption of technologies that use or produce low-carbon renewable energy.

(c) For the purposes of this subdivision:

(1) "biomass" means plant and animal material, agricultural and forest residues, mixed municipal solid waste, and sludge from wastewater treatment; and

(2) "renewable energy source" means hydro, wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal energy, and microorganisms used as an energy source.

(d) Beginning January 15 of 2010, and each year thereafter, the director of the Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment at the University of Minnesota shall submit a report to the chair and ranking minority members of the senate and house of representatives committees with primary jurisdiction over energy finance describing the activities conducted during the previous year funded under this subdivision.

NOTE: The amendment to subdivision 1 by Laws 2010, chapter 361, article 5, section 2, is effective when 32 dry casks containing spent fuel are located at the Prairie Island nuclear plant. Laws 2010, chapter 361, article 5, section 2, the effective date.