(a) Upon joint petition of a public utility as defined in section 216B.02, subdivision 4, and any customer located within the utility's service territory, the commission may establish a zone within that utility's service territory where the utility will install additional, redundant, or upgraded components of the electric distribution infrastructure that are designed to decrease the risk of power outages, provided the utility and all of its customers located within the proposed zone have approved the installation of the components and the financial recovery plan prior to the creation of the zone. Prior to commission approval, the utility must notify each customer within the proposed zone of the total costs of the installation, an estimate of the customer's share of those costs, and the potential benefits of the local power quality zone to the customer.
(b) The commission shall authorize the utility to collect all costs of the installation of any components under this section, including initial investment, operation, and maintenance costs, and taxes from all customers within the zone, through tariffs and surcharges for service in a zone that appropriately reflect the cost of service to those customers, provided the customers agree to pay all costs for a predetermined period, including costs of component removal, if appropriate.
(c) Nothing in this section limits the ability of the utility and any customer to enter into customer-specific agreements pursuant to applicable statutory, rule, or tariff provisions.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit the quality of service outside a designated zone to decline.