The utility subject to section 116C.779 shall operate a program to provide solar energy production incentives for solar energy systems of no more than a total aggregate nameplate capacity of 40 kilowatts direct current per premise. The owner of a solar energy system installed before June 1, 2018, is eligible to receive a production incentive under this section for any additional solar energy systems constructed at the same customer location, provided that the aggregate capacity of all systems at the customer location does not exceed 40 kilowatts. The program shall be operated for eight consecutive calendar years commencing in 2014. $5,000,000 shall be allocated in each of the first four years, $15,000,000 in the fifth year, $10,000,000 in each of the sixth and seventh years, and $5,000,000 in the eighth year from funds withheld from transfer to the renewable development account under section 116C.779, subdivision 1, paragraphs (b) and (e), and placed in a separate account for the purpose of the solar production incentive program operated by the utility and not for any other program or purpose. Any unspent amount allocated in the fifth year is available until December 31 of the sixth year. Any unspent amount remaining at the end of any other allocation year must be transferred to the renewable development account. The solar system must be sized to less than 120 percent of the customer's on-site annual energy consumption when combined with other distributed generation resources and subscriptions provided under section 216B.1641 associated with the premise. The production incentive must be paid for ten years commencing with the commissioning of the system. The utility must file a plan to operate the program with the commissioner of commerce. The utility may not operate the program until it is approved by the commissioner. A change to the program to include projects up to a nameplate capacity of 40 kilowatts or less does not require the utility to file a plan with the commissioner. Any plan approved by the commissioner of commerce must not provide an increased incentive scale over prior years unless the commissioner demonstrates that changes in the market for solar energy facilities require an increase.
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