Within 90 days of a module being certified as "Made in Minnesota" the commissioner of commerce shall set a solar energy production incentive amount for that solar photovoltaic module for the purpose of the incentive payment under section 216C.415. The incentive is a performance-based financial incentive expressed as a per kilowatt-hour amount. The amount shall be used for incentive applications approved in the year to which the incentive amount is applicable for the ten-year duration of the incentive payments. An incentive amount must be calculated for each module for each calendar year through 2023.
(a) The commissioner shall set the incentive payment amount by determining the average amount of incentive payment required to allow an average owner of installed solar photovoltaic modules a reasonable return on their investment. In setting the incentive amount the commissioner shall consider:
(1) an estimate of the installed cost per kilowatt-direct current, based on the cost data supplied by the manufacturer in the application submitted under section 216C.413, and an estimate of the average installation cost based on a representative sample of Minnesota solar photovoltaic installed projects;
(2) the average insolation rate in Minnesota;
(3) an estimate of the decline in the generation efficiency of the solar photovoltaic modules over time;
(4) the rate paid by public utilities to owners of solar photovoltaic modules under section 216B.164 or other law;
(5) applicable federal tax incentives for installing solar photovoltaic modules; and
(6) the estimated levelized cost per kilowatt-hour generated.
(b) The commissioner shall annually, for incentive applications received in a year, revise each incentive amount based on the factors in paragraph (a), clauses (1) to (6), general market conditions, and the availability of other incentives. In no case shall the "Made in Minnesota" incentive amount result in the "Made in Minnesota" incentives paid exceeding 40 percent, net of average applicable taxes on the ten-year incentive payments, of the average historic installation cost per kilowatt. The commissioner may exceed the 40 percent cap if the commissioner determines it is necessary to fully expend funds available for incentive payments in a particular year.
A public utility must, at the expense of a customer, provide a meter to measure the production of a solar photovoltaic module system that is approved to receive incentive payments. The public utility must furnish the commissioner with information sufficient for the commissioner to determine the incentive payment. The information must be provided on a calendar year basis by no later than March 1. The commissioner shall provide a public utility with forms to use to provide the production information. A customer must attest to the accuracy of the production information.
Payments must be made no later than July 1 following the year of production.
Renewable energy credits associated with energy provided to a public utility for which an incentive payment is made belong to the utility.
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