The legislature hereby declares it to be the policy of the state to locate large electric power facilities in an orderly manner compatible with environmental preservation and the efficient use of resources. In accordance with this policy the commission shall choose locations that minimize adverse human and environmental impact while insuring continuing electric power system reliability and integrity and insuring that electric energy needs are met and fulfilled in an orderly and timely fashion.
The commission is hereby given the authority to provide for site and route selection for large electric power facilities. The commission shall issue permits for large electric power facilities in a timely fashion and in a manner consistent with the overall determination of need for the project under section 216B.243 or 216B.2425. Questions of need, including size, type, and timing; alternative system configurations; and voltage must not be included in the scope of environmental review conducted under this chapter.
If a route is proposed in two or more states, the commission shall attempt to reach agreement with affected states on the entry and exit points prior to designating a route. The commission, in discharge of its duties pursuant to this chapter may make joint investigations, hold joint hearings within or without the state, and issue joint or concurrent orders in conjunction or concurrence with any official or agency of any state or of the United States. The commission may negotiate and enter into any agreements or compacts with agencies of other states, pursuant to any consent of Congress, for cooperative efforts in certifying the construction, operation, and maintenance of large electric power facilities in accord with the purposes of this chapter and for the enforcement of the respective state laws regarding such facilities.