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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

41A.16 ADVANCED BIOFUEL PRODUCTION INCENTIVE.

Subdivision 1.Eligibility.

(a) A facility eligible for payment under this section must source at least 80 percent raw materials from Minnesota. If a facility is sited 50 miles or less from the state border, raw materials may be sourced from within a 100-mile radius. Raw materials must be from agricultural or forestry sources or from solid waste. The facility must be located in Minnesota, must begin production at a specific location by June 30, 2025, and must not begin operating above 23,750 MMbtu of quarterly biofuel production before July 1, 2015. Eligible facilities include existing companies and facilities that are adding advanced biofuel production capacity, or retrofitting existing capacity, as well as new companies and facilities. Production of conventional corn ethanol and conventional biodiesel is not eligible. Eligible advanced biofuel facilities must produce at least 23,750 MMbtu of biofuel quarterly.

(b) No payments shall be made for advanced biofuel production that occurs after June 30, 2035, for those eligible biofuel producers under paragraph (a).

(c) An eligible producer of advanced biofuel shall not transfer the producer's eligibility for payments under this section to an advanced biofuel facility at a different location.

(d) A producer that ceases production for any reason is ineligible to receive payments under this section until the producer resumes production.

(e) Renewable chemical production for which payment has been received under section 41A.17, and biomass thermal production for which payment has been received under section 41A.18, are not eligible for payment under this section.

(f) Biobutanol is eligible under this section.

Subd. 2.Payment amounts; limits.

(a) The commissioner shall make payments to eligible producers of advanced biofuel. The amount of the payment for each eligible producer's annual production is $2.1053 per MMbtu for advanced biofuel production from cellulosic biomass, and $1.053 per MMbtu for advanced biofuel production from sugar or starch at a specific location for ten years after the start of production.

(b) Total payments under this section to an eligible biofuel producer in a fiscal year may not exceed the amount necessary for 2,850,000 MMbtu of biofuel production. Total payments under this section to all eligible biofuel producers in a fiscal year may not exceed the amount necessary for 17,100,000 MMbtu of biofuel production. The commissioner shall award payments on a first-come, first-served basis within the limits of available funding.

(c) For purposes of this section, an entity that holds a controlling interest in more than one advanced biofuel facility is considered a single eligible producer.

Subd. 3.Perennial and cover crops required.

To be eligible for payment under this section, a producer that produces advanced biofuel from agricultural cellulosic biomass other than corn kernel fiber or biogas must derive at least the following portions of the producer's total eligible MMbtus from perennial crop or cover crop biomass:

(1) ten percent during the first two years of eligible production;

(2) 30 percent during the third and fourth years of eligible production; and

(3) 50 percent during the fifth through tenth years of eligible production.

Subd. 4.Cellulosic forestry biomass requirements.

All forestry-derived cellulosic biomass must be produced using Minnesota state biomass harvesting guidelines or the equivalent. All biomass from brushlands must be produced using Minnesota brushland harvesting biomass harvest guidelines or the equivalent. Forestry-derived cellulosic biomass that comes from land parcels greater than 160 acres must be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, or American Tree Farm System. Uncertified land from parcels of 160 acres or less and federal land must be harvested by a logger who has completed training for biomass harvesting from the Minnesota logger education program or the equivalent and have a forest stewardship plan.

Subd. 5.Agricultural cellulosic biomass sourcing plan.

(a) An eligible producer who utilizes agricultural cellulosic biomass must submit a responsible biomass sourcing plan for approval by the commissioner prior to applying for payments under this section. The commissioner shall make the plan publicly available. The plan must:

(1) provide a detailed explanation of how agricultural cellulosic biomass will be produced and managed in a way that preserves soil quality, does not increase soil and nutrient runoff, avoids introduction of harmful invasive species, limits negative impacts on wildlife habitat, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions;

(2) include the producer's approach to verifying that biomass suppliers are following the plan;

(3) discuss how new technologies and practices that are not yet commercially viable may be encouraged and adopted during the life of the facility, and how the producer will encourage continuous improvement during the life of the project;

(4) include specific numeric goals and timelines for making progress;

(5) require agronomic practices that result in a positive Natural Resources Conservation Service Soil Conditioning Index score for acres from which biomass from corn stover will be harvested; and

(6) include biennial soil sampling to verify maintained or increased levels of soil organic matter.

(b) An eligible producer who utilizes agricultural cellulosic biomass and receives payments under this section shall submit an annual report on the producer's responsible biomass sourcing plan to the commissioner by January 15 each year. The report must include data on progress made by the producer in meeting specific goals laid out in the plan. The commissioner shall make the report publicly available. The commissioner shall perform an annual review of submitted reports and may make a determination that the producer is not following the plan based on the reports submitted. The commissioner may take appropriate steps, including reducing or ceasing payments, until the producer is in compliance with the plan.

Subd. 6.Claims.

(a) By the last day of October, January, April, and July, each eligible biofuel producer shall file a claim for payment for advanced biofuel production during the preceding three calendar months. An eligible biofuel producer that files a claim under this subdivision shall include a statement of the eligible biofuel producer's total advanced biofuel production in Minnesota during the quarter covered by the claim. For each claim and statement of total advanced biofuel production filed under this subdivision, the volume of advanced biofuel production must be examined by a CPA firm with a valid permit to practice under chapter 326A, in accordance with Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagements established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

(b) The commissioner must issue payments by November 15, February 15, May 15, and August 15. A separate payment must be made for each claim filed.