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S.F. No. 2084 - Solar Energy Incentive Program Modification; Renewable Energy & Other Energy-Related Programs Establishment; Utility Filing Governing Provision; Report Rqmts. & Appropriation.
Author: Senator David J. Osmek
Prepared By: Carlon D. Fontaine, Senate Counsel (651/296-4395)
Date: May 14, 2019


Section 1. Solar energy production incentive program. Amends the statute governing Xcel’s “Solar Rewards” program by extending program funding, which is withheld by Xcel from transfer to the renewable development account, through 2022 as follows:

  • 2020 – allows the funds allocated to the program in 2019 and 2020 to remain available to the program
  • 2021 - $10 million
  • 2022 - $10 million

Requires any unspent amounts remaining on January 1, 2023, to be transferred to the renewable development account.

Section 2. Community energy transition grants.  Creates a community energy transition grant program in the Department of Employment and Economic Development to award grants to communities in which electric generating plants have ceased or are scheduled to cease operations. Grants may fund worker retraining, the development of economic development strategies, and programs to attract new employers. Requires an annual report to the legislature beginning in 2022, detailing the grants awarded and use of grant funds.

Section 3.  Prairie Island Net Zero Project.  Establishes the Prairie Island Net Zero Project.

Subdivision 1. Program established. Establishes the Prairie Island Net Zero Project with the goal of having the Prairie Island Indian Community develop an energy system implementing renewable energy projects that results in net zero emissions. 

Subdivision 2. Grant. Requires the commissioner of commerce to enter into a grant contract with the Prairie Island Indian Community for a grant to stimulate research, development, and implementation of renewable energy projects benefiting the Prairie Island Indian Community or its members.

Subdivision 3. Bids. Requires the Prairie Island Indian Community to obtain bids to construct the project from at least three contractors and submit certified total costs to the commissioner by January 1, 2022.

Subdivision 4. Plan; report. Requires the Prairie Island Indian Community to file a project plan with the commissioner of commerce and the legislature by January 1, 2021. Beginning July 1, 2022, requires the Prairie Island Indian Community to file annual reports and then updated annually until the program is complete, describing the project progress. Requires the Prairie Island Indian Community to file a final project report within 90 days of the date the project is complete.

Section 4. Filing of mortgage deed of trust through 2020; public utility. Through the end of 2020, exempts Xcel Energy from the deadline requiring certain documents pertaining to corporate bond sales to be filed in each county in which the company owns property within five days of the determination of the bond price, provided that the documents are filed with the secretary of state and in each of those counties.

Section 5. Appropriations.

Subdivision 1. Community energy transition grants. Appropriates $2 million in fiscal year 2021 from the renewable development account for the grants, which must be spent in communities in Xcel Energy’s electric service area or in communities hosting an Xcel electric generating plant.

Subdivision 2. Prairie Island Net Zero Project. Appropriates $16 million in fiscal year 2021, $15.2 million in fiscal year 2022, and $15 million in fiscal year 2023 from the renewable development account for the project grant. Specifies the size of a reserve for cost overruns.

Subdivision 3. Granite Falls hydropower. Appropriates $2.75 million in fiscal year 2021 from the renewable development account to the commissioner of commerce for a grant to Granite Falls for the purchase of a new turbine for its existing hydropower facility.

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