(a) Any utility whose electric power system requires the immediate construction of a large electric power generating plant or high-voltage transmission line due to a major unforeseen event may apply to the commission for an emergency permit. The application shall provide notice in writing of the major unforeseen event and the need for immediate construction. The permit must be issued in a timely manner, no later than 195 days after the commission's acceptance of the application and upon a finding by the commission that (1) a demonstrable emergency exists, (2) the emergency requires immediate construction, and (3) adherence to the procedures and time schedules specified in section 216E.03 would jeopardize the utility's electric power system or would jeopardize the utility's ability to meet the electric needs of its customers in an orderly and timely manner.
(b) A public hearing to determine if an emergency exists must be held within 90 days of the application. The commission, after notice and hearing, shall adopt rules specifying the criteria for emergency certification.