This Act regulates the siting of large electric power generating plants, which are defined as plants designed for or capable of operating with a capacity of 50,000 kW or more. The policy of the state is to choose locations for large electric power facilities that minimize adverse human and environmental impact while insuring continuing electric power system reliability and integrity and that electric energy needs are met and fulfilled in an orderly and timely fashion.
Minnesota Power offers a 25% rebate for qualifying solar thermal water heating systems. The maximum award for single-family customers is $2,000 per customer; $4,000 for 2-3 family unit buildings; $10,000 for buildings with 4 or more family units; and $25,000 for businesses. This program is available to the utility's residential, commercial, and industrial customers that receive retail electric service, subject to availability of funding.
The following conditions apply to Minnesota Power's Solar Thermal Water Heater Rebate Program:
Minnesota Power offers a rebate of $1,000 per kilowatt (kW) DC for grid-connected solar-electric (PV) systems, with a maximum award of $20,000 per customer or 60% installed costs per customer. This program, which began in 2004, is available to the utility's residential, commercial and industrial customers that receive retail electric service, subject to availability of funding. Originally, Minnesota Power's rebate for PV systems could be combined with the Minnesota Office of Energy Security's Solar-Electric (PV) Rebate Program; however, the state program is no longer available.
Through Minnesota Power's Triple E New Construction Program, homeowners and builders can qualify for special incentive rebates by meeting specific energy standards on new home construction. These standards cover thermal integrity (insulation, windows and doors, exterior wind barriers), airtight construction, moisture control, appliances, lighting, ventilation, and heating system performance for air and water. State-licensed builders or owner-builders whose homes meet all of the thermal and performance standards are eligible for a $2,000 rebate.
Minnesota Power offers a variety of appliance, lighting, and heating and cooling system rebates to its residential customers to help make homes more energy efficient. Rebates are available for Energy Star clothes washers, refrigerators, CFLs, and lighting fixtures; energy efficient furnaces and heat pumps (air-source and geothermal); and the recycling of old (but still functioning) refrigerators and/or freezers. Rebates are only available to residential customers of Minnesota Power and participating utilities.
Minnesota Power Grant Program offers grants of up to $50,000 to its commercial, industrial, and agricultural customers who use innovative technologies, improve manufacturing processes, undertake renewable electric energy projects or who need project design assistance. Eligible projects include renewable energy products, new electro-technologies that lower energy costs per unit of production in a manufacturing process, innovative technologies that are new and underutilized in the regional marketplace, and the inclusion of energy-efficient options in the design phase of a project.
Certain peatland core areas are designated as scientific and natural areas, and development is restricted. Currently, only two peatlands have been protected: the Pine Creek Peatland in Roseau County, and the Winter Road Lake Peatland in Roseau and Lake of the Woods Counties.
This Act is designed to streamline the review procedures for a given project that requires multiple environmental permits “by establishing a mechanism in state government which will coordinate administrative decision-making procedures, and related quasi-judicial and judicial review, pertaining to these permits.” The Act is designed to promote a better exchange of information among state agencies, as well as a faster process for project permitting.
Minnesota Energy Resources provides rebates to their residential customers for the purchase of energy efficient natural gas equipment and set-back thermostats. Rebates are available for furnaces, boilers, integrated space and water heating systems, programmable thermostats, water heaters (tank and tankless), clothes washers, and drain water heat recovery devices. All equipment must meet certain efficiency standards listed on the program website. Purchases qualify for both new homes and renovations. The rebate application can be downloaded from the program website.
Minnesota Energy Resources is now offering rebates for non-profits servicing low-income communities. New construction organizations can take advantage of rebates for efficient technologies if the low-income homes are served by Minnesota Energy Resources. The rebates will be issued to the non-profit that submits the application and is responsible for the project. Applications must be received within 60 days of installation, and are processed on a first-come, first-served basis.