For the purposes of this section, "eligible community" means a county, municipality, or tribal government located in Minnesota in which an electric generating plant owned by a public utility, as defined in section 216B.02, that is powered by coal, nuclear energy, or natural gas:
(1) is currently operating and is scheduled to cease operations or whose cessation of operations has been proposed in an integrated resource plan filed with the commission under section 216B.2422; or
(2) ceased operations or was removed from the local property tax base no earlier than five years before the date an application is made for a grant under this section.
A community energy transition grant program is established in the department to award grants to assist eligible communities to address the economic dislocation associated with the closing of a local electric generating plant.
(a) A community energy transition account is created in the special revenue fund in the state treasury. The commissioner shall credit to the account appropriations and transfers to the account. Earnings, including interest, dividends, and any other earnings arising from assets of the account, must be credited to the account. The commissioner shall manage the account.
(b) Money in the account is appropriated to the commissioner for grants under this section and must be expended only as provided in this section.
(a) Applications for a grant under this section must be made to the commissioner on a form developed by the commissioner.
(b) A grant application made by a county must include a resolution of support from the legislative body in the city in which the electric generating plant is or was located.
(a) The commissioner must award grants under this section to eligible communities through a competitive grant process.
(b) A grant awarded to an eligible community under this section must not exceed $500,000.
(c) Grants funded with revenues from the renewable development account established in section 116C.779 must be awarded to an eligible community located within the retail electric service territory of the public utility that is subject to section 116C.779 or to an eligible community in which an electric generating plant owned by that public utility is located.
(a) Money in the account established in subdivision 3 must be used only to:
(1) award grants to eligible communities under this section; and
(2) reimburse the department's reasonable costs to administer this section, up to a maximum of five percent of the appropriation made to the commissioner under this section.
(b) An eligible community awarded a grant under this section may use the grant to plan for or address the economic and social impacts on the eligible community of the electric generating plant's cessation of operations, including but not limited to researching, planning, and implementing activities designed to:
(1) assist workers at the plant find new employment, including worker retraining and developing small business start-up skills;
(2) increase the eligible community's property tax base; and
(3) develop alternative economic development strategies to attract new employers to the eligible community.
By January 15, 2022, the commissioner must submit a report to the chairs and ranking minority members of the committees of the senate and house of representatives with jurisdiction over economic development and energy. The report must describe the number and amount of grants awarded under this section and the uses made of grant funds by eligible communities awarded grants.
Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes