Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency ([http://www.smmpa.com SMMPA]) is a joint-action agency which generates and sells reliable electricity at wholesale to its eighteen non-profit, municipally-owned member utilities, and develops innovative products and services to help them deliver value to customers. Spring Valley Public Utilities, a member of SMMPA, provides incentives for its commercial and industrial customers to improve the energy efficiency of facilities.
This section establishes an interstate commission to set standards for water levels and quality, and to coordinate among local governments to maintain and preserve water resources on the Minnesota/South Dakota boundary.
These statutes encourage the State and local governments to develop waste management strategies to achieve the maximum possible reduction in waste generation, eliminate or reduce adverse environmental impacts, encourage source separation of materials, and improve the efficiency of the overall system. The legislation also establishes solid waste management districts, to provide for coordinated planning of waste disposal strategies.
Minnesota law provides for the creation of solar and wind easements for solar and wind-energy systems. As in many other states, these easements are voluntary contracts. However, unlike similar provisions in other states, Minnesota law specifically provides for wind easements in addition to solar easements. For tax purposes, an easement imposed on a property may decrease the property value, but an easement which benefits a property may not add value to that property.
Minnesota law requires that all active solar space-heating and water-heating systems, sold, offered for sale, or installed on residential and commercial buildings in the state meet Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) standards. Specifically, the rule references SRCC's "Operating Guidelines" pertaining to collector certification and system certification: OG-100 and OG-300, respectively. Local building officials may issue permits for the installation of solar water-heating systems and solar space-heating systems after these systems have been certified by the SRCC.
In Minnesota, solar-energy systems purchased on or after August 1, 2005, are exempt from the state's sales tax. Solar energy systems are defined as "a set of devices whose primary purpose is to collect solar energy and convert and store it for useful purposes including heating and cooling buildings or other energy-using processes." Thus the exemption is very broad and could apply to solar electric (PV) systems, solar water-heating systems and solar space-heating systems. All components of these systems are exempt, including panels, wiring, pipes, pumps and racks.
The Board of Water and Soil Resources has adopted a model ordinance to serve as the minimum standard for local governments, which are asked to implement standards and administrative procedures designed to control soil loss and erosion. Activities that cause excessive soil loss are not permitted. Landowners may request assistance from local soil and water conservation districts to plan activities to minimize soil loss.
The Small Business Development Loan Program, sponsored by Minnesota’s Agricultural and Economic Development Board, issues industrial development bonds to provide small business loans up to $5 million to businesses whose expansion results in the creation of new jobs. Loans are available to manufacturing and industrial companies with fewer than 500 employees. The loan may be used for real estate or machinery and equipment.
A small business stationary source that is owned or operated by a person that employs 100 or fewer individuals, is not a major stationary source (as defined by the federal Clean Air Act), does not emit 50 tons or more per year of any regulated pollutant, and emits less than 75 tons per year of all regulated pollutants may qualify for information and technical assistance under this program.