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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

41A.18 BIOMASS THERMAL PRODUCTION INCENTIVE.

Subdivision 1.Eligibility.

(a) A facility eligible for payment under this section must source at least 80 percent raw materials from Minnesota. If a facility is sited 50 miles or less from the state border, raw materials should be sourced from within a 100-mile radius. Raw materials must be from agricultural or forestry sources. The facility must be located in Minnesota, must have begun production at a specific location by June 30, 2025, and must not begin before July 1, 2015. Eligible facilities include existing companies and facilities that are adding production capacity, or retrofitting existing capacity, as well as new companies and facilities. Eligible biomass thermal production facilities must produce at least 1,000 MMbtu per year.

(b) No payments shall be made for biomass thermal production that occurs after June 30, 2035, for those eligible biomass thermal producers under paragraph (a).

(c) An eligible producer of biomass thermal production shall not transfer the producer's eligibility for payments under this section to a biomass thermal production facility at a different location.

(d) A producer that ceases production for any reason is ineligible to receive payments under this section until the producer resumes production.

(e) Biofuel production for which payment has been received under section 41A.16, and renewable chemical production for which payment has been received under section 41A.17, are not eligible for payment under this section.

Subd. 2.Payment amounts; bonus; limits; blending.

(a) The commissioner shall make payments to eligible producers of biomass thermal located in the state. The amount of the payment for each producer's annual production is $5.00 per MMbtu of biomass thermal production produced at a specific location for ten years after the start of production.

(b) An eligible facility producing biomass thermal using agricultural cellulosic biomass is eligible for a 20 percent bonus payment for each MMbtu produced from agricultural biomass that is derived from perennial crop or cover crop biomass.

(c) Total payments under this section to an eligible thermal producer in a fiscal year may not exceed the amount necessary for 30,000 MMbtu of thermal production. Total payments under this section to all eligible thermal producers in a fiscal year may not exceed the amount necessary for 150,000 MMbtu of total thermal production. The commissioner shall award payments on a first-come, first-served basis within the limits of available funding.

(d) An eligible facility may blend a cellulosic feedstock with other fuels in the biomass thermal production facility, but only the percentage attributable to cellulosic material is eligible to receive payment.

(e) For purposes of this section, an entity that holds a controlling interest in more than one biomass thermal production facility is considered a single eligible producer.

Subd. 3.Cellulosic biomass requirements.

All forestry-derived cellulosic biomass must be produced using Minnesota state biomass harvesting guidelines or the equivalent. All biomass from brushland must be produced using Minnesota brushland harvesting biomass guidelines or the equivalent. Forestry-derived cellulosic biomass that comes from land parcels greater than 160 acres must be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, or American Tree Farm. Uncertified land from parcels of 160 acres or less and federal land must be harvested by a logger who has completed training for biomass harvesting from the Minnesota logger education program or the equivalent and have a forest stewardship plan.

Subd. 4.Agricultural cellulosic biomass sourcing plan.

(a) An eligible producer who utilizes agricultural cellulosic biomass must submit a responsible biomass sourcing plan to the commissioner prior to applying for payments under this section. The plan must:

(1) provide a detailed explanation of how agricultural cellulosic biomass will be produced and managed in a way that preserves soil quality, does not increase soil and nutrient runoff, avoids introduction of harmful invasive species, limits negative impacts on wildlife habitat, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions;

(2) include the producer's approach to verifying that biomass suppliers are following the plan;

(3) discuss how new technologies and practices that are not yet commercially viable may be encouraged and adopted during the life of the facility, and how the producer will encourage continuous improvement during the life of the project; and

(4) include specific numeric goals and timelines for making progress.

(b) An eligible producer who utilizes agricultural cellulosic biomass and receives payments under this section shall submit an annual report on the producer's responsible biomass sourcing plan to the commissioner by January 15 each year. The report must include data on progress made by the producer in meeting specific goals laid out in the plan. The commissioner shall make the report publicly available. The commissioner shall perform an annual review of submitted reports and may make a determination that the producer is not following the plan based on the reports submitted. The commissioner may take appropriate steps, including reducing or ceasing payments, until the producer is in compliance with the plan.

Subd. 5.Claims.

(a) By the last day of October, January, April, and July, each producer shall file a claim for payment for biomass thermal production during the preceding three calendar months. A producer that files a claim under this subdivision shall include a statement of the producer's total biomass thermal production in Minnesota during the quarter covered by the claim. For each claim and statement of total biomass thermal production filed under this paragraph, the volume of biomass thermal production must be examined by a CPA firm with a valid permit to practice under chapter 326A, in accordance with Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagements established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

(b) The commissioner must issue payments by November 15, February 15, May 15, and August 15. A separate payment shall be made for each claim filed.