(a) Notwithstanding the requirements of sections 216E.03 and 216E.04, an applicant who seeks a site or route permit for one of the projects identified in this section shall have the option of applying to those local units of government that have jurisdiction over the site or route for approval to build the project. If local approval is granted, a site or route permit is not required from the commission. If the applicant files an application with the commission, the applicant shall be deemed to have waived its right to seek local approval of the project.
(b) A local unit of government with jurisdiction over a project identified in this section to whom an applicant has applied for approval to build the project may request the commission to assume jurisdiction and make a decision on a site or route permit under the applicable provisions of this chapter. A local unit of government must file the request with the commission within 60 days after an application for the project has been filed with any one local unit of government. If one of the local units of government with jurisdiction over the project requests the commission to assume jurisdiction, jurisdiction over the project transfers to the commission. If the local units of government maintain jurisdiction over the project, the commission shall select the appropriate local unit of government to be the responsible governmental unit to conduct environmental review of the project.
Applicants may seek approval from local units of government to construct the following projects:
(1) large electric power generating plants with a capacity of less than 80 megawatts;
(2) large electric power generating plants of any size that burn natural gas and are intended to be a peaking plant;
(3) high-voltage transmission lines of between 100 and 200 kilovolts;
(4) substations with a voltage designed for and capable of operation at a nominal voltage of 100 kilovolts or more;
(5) a high-voltage transmission line service extension to a single customer between 200 and 300 kilovolts and less than ten miles in length; and
(6) a high-voltage transmission line rerouting to serve the demand of a single customer when the rerouted line will be located at least 80 percent on property owned or controlled by the customer or the owner of the transmission line.
Within ten days of submission of an application to a local unit of government for approval of an eligible project, the applicant shall notify the commission that the applicant has elected to seek local approval of the proposed project.