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State and Local Climate and Energy Program

Minnesota

Definitions

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Energy Efficiency Actions

Building Codes for Energy Efficiency—Commercial Programs

Status: Does Not Meet ECPA

Details: Minnesota state code exceeds ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-1989, mandatory statewide; can use COMcheck to show compliance.


Building Codes for Energy Efficiency—Residential Programs

Status: Does Not Meet ECPA

Details: MN State Energy Code, based on the 1995 MEC, mandatory statewide; can use REScheck to show compliance.


Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standards

Status: Completed

Details: On November 15, 2007, Minnesota signed the Energy Security and Climate Stewardship Platform for the Midwest, committing to an overall 2% reduction in energy use by 2015. SF145, signed by the Governor on May 25, 2007, sets an annual energy savings goal 1.5% per year for electricity and natural gas utilities. At least 1% must be from utility energy efficiency programs; the remainder can be from utility or indirect programs.


Public Benefits Funds for Energy Efficiency

Status: Proposed

Details: SF 997 (passed by the Senate on March 30, 2007) would require public gas utilities to spend 0.5% of their gross operating revenues from service provided in-state on investments for energy conservation improvements, electric utilities to spend 1.5% of their gross operating revenues, and nuclear-powered electric generating plants to spend 2% of their gross operating revenues from in-state service on energy conservation improvements. Overall, the state aims to reach savings equal to 1.5% of annual electricity and gas sales through these and other conservation programs. Referred to Senate Ways & Means on April 2, 2007. As of October 1, 2008, the bill has not advanced out of committee.


State Appliance Efficiency Standards

Status: Proposed

Details: An advisory panel created by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty approved a mixture of strategies on January 24, 2008, that would reduce the state's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 30% by 2025. One of the proposed strategies would require high state appliance efficiency standards in the absence of federal standards. MN Rules 7678. 23 SR 145 passed on July 20, 1998 (effective on July 20, 1999), established minimum energy-efficiency standards for commercial heating, air conditioning, and ventilating equipment, motors, and fluorescent lamp ballasts.

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Energy Supply Actions

Interconnection Standards—Clean Distributed Generation

Status: Completed

Details: The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) issued an order in 2004 establishing generic standards for utility tariffs for interconnection and operation of distributed generation facilities, as directed by Minnesota Statute 216B.1611 . This applies to all DG up to 10MW, with simplified rules for systems <40kW.


Interconnection Standards—Net Metering

Status: Completed

Details: Statewide net metering for all utility types. Minnesota's statute-based net metering law was established in 1983 and applies to all investor-owned utilities, municipalities and rural cooperatives. Qualifying facilities of 40 kW or less are eligible.


Output-Based Environmental Regulations

Status: No Activity Identified


Public Benefit Funds for Clean Energy Supply

Status: Completed (with caveat)

Details: Through January 1, 2018, up to $10.9 million annually must be allocated from the state's Renewable Development Fund (RDF) to support renewable-energy production incentives. Of this amount, $9.4 million supports production incentives for up to 200 megawatts (MW) of electricity generated by wind-energy systems. The balance of the $10.9 million sum -- up to $1.5 million annually -- may be used for production incentives for on-farm biogas recovery facilities or for production incentives for other renewables. The RDF was created in 1999 in accordance with the 1994 Radioactive Waste Management Facility Authorization Law (Minn. Stat. 116C.779).


Renewable Portfolio Standards

Status: Completed

Details: On November 15, 2007, Minnesota signed the Midwestern Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord, committing to a region-wide 10% renewable energy standard by 2015. On February 22, 2007, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty signed the Next Generation Energy Initiative, which includes an RPS and also modifies the states' previous "Renewable Energy Objective (REO). Minnesota's RPS requires utilities to provide 25% of the state's electricity from renewable resources (including wind, biomass, hydrogen, and solar power) by 2025. The state's largest utility, Xcel Energy, is required to provide 30% from renewable sources by 2020. The REO calls for utilities to make a "good faith effort" for eligible renewables to account for 1% of retail electricity sales in 2005 and 7% of retail sales by 2010.

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Power Sector

Advanced Coal Technology

Status: Completed/Further Work Proposed

Details: An advisory panel created by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty approved a mixture of strategies on January 24, 2008, that would reduce the state's GHG emissions by up to 30% by 2025. One of the proposed strategies would create advanced fossil fuel technology incentives, support, or requirements including carbon capture and storage. Minnesota law (passed in 2003) provides for incentives for "innovative energy projects" using coal as fuel in a highly efficiency combined cycle configuration and that significantly reduce emissions of criteria pollutants.


CO2 Offset Requirements

Status: Proposed

Details: On September 7, 2007, seven regional utilities that propose building a $1.6 billion coal-fired power plant announced that they have agreed to offset the CO2 emissions of the plant's Minnesota customers. Under the agreement, the seven utilities would be allowed to choose their own methods to offset the carbon. No activity listed in association with this development because it is not a requirement. In December 2006, Governor Pawlenty proposed, as a part of his Next Generation Energy Initiative, that Minnesota utilities begin offsetting carbon emissions from new fossil-fuel generation sources.


GHG Performance Standard

Status: No Activity Identified


Power Sector GHG Cap and Trade

Status: Proposed

Details: Member of the Midwestern Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord, signed on November 15, 2007. Under the Accord, members agree to establish regional GHG reduction targets, including a long-term target of 60% to 80% below current emissions levels, and develop a multi-sector cap-and-trade system to help meet the targets.

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Reporting

GHG Registry

Status: Completed

Details: On April 3, 2008, the Minnesota Senate passed Senate File 3341, which would create a form for businesses to voluntarily track their energy use and efficiency. An advisory panel created by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty approved a mixture of strategies on January 24, 2008, that would reduce the state's GHG emissions by up to 30% by 2025. One of the proposed strategies is the development of GHG inventories, forecasting, reporting, and a registry. Member of The Climate Registry — a collaboration aimed at developing and managing a common GHG emissions reporting system across states, provinces, and tribes. It will provide an accurate, complete, consistent, transparent, and verified set of GHG emissions data from reporting entities, supported by a robust accounting and verification infrastructure. Members released a final General Reporting Protocol in May 2008. The Climate Registry began accepting data in June 2008.


Mandatory GHG Reporting

Status: No Activity Identified

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State Planning and Incentive Structures

Lead By Example—Clean Energy Goals for Public Facilities

Status: No Activity Identified

Details: Executive Order 04-08 (August 2004) requires state agencies to reduce their contribution to air pollution by implementing 2 measures out of a list of 8. One of the measures a state can use is to purchase electricity generated from renewable sources. Considered no action because the E.O. does not specifically require purchases of clean energy.


Lead By Example—Energy Efficiency and Alternative Fuel Goals for Public Fleets

Status: Completed

Details: On March 9, 2006, Governor Pawlenty signed Executive Order 06-03 which requires state employees to use E85 fuel when operating flex-fuel vehicles when the fuel is available to them. It also directs the Smart Fleet Committee to develop a plan to facilitate usage of E85 and biodiesel in state vehicles. Executive Order 04-10 (September 2004) requires the state to reduce the use of gasoline by on-road vehicles owned by state departments by 25% by 2010 and by 50% by 2015, and the use of petroleum-based diesel fuel by those vehicles 10% by 2010 and 25% by 2015, using 2005 as the baseline. Also, at least 75% of purchases of new on-road vehicles must have fuel efficiency rating that exceed 30 mpg for city usage and 35 mpg for highway usage. Executive Order 04-08 (August 2004) requires state agencies to purchase or lease the most fuel-efficient and least polluting vehicles that meet the operational needs of the department; refuel state-operated vehicles with the cleanest fuel available; and encourage employees to consider alternatives to single-occupancy vehicle commuting.


Lead By Example—Energy Efficient Appliance and Equipment Purchase Requirements for Public Facilities

Status: Completed

Details: Executive Order 04-08 (August 2004) requires state agencies to reduce state energy use through purchasing energy efficient office equipment and appliances.


Lead By Example—Energy Efficiency in Public Facilities

Status: Completed

Details: The Next Generation Energy Act of 2007 (signed May 25, 2007) sets a state goal of earning ENERGY STAR labels for 1,000 commercial buildings, and green building certification for 100 commercial buildings by the end of 2010. Executive Order 05-16 (2005) requires state-owned buildings to reduce energy usage by 10% in 2006 and mandates the use of specific energy conservation measures to help the state meet its target. It also requires the incorporation of Minnesota Sustainable Guidelines for new construction and the adoption of "prudent energy" procurement strategies.


Climate Change Action Plan

Status: Completed

Details: In April 2008, the Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group issued its final report with recommendations to the Governor for reducing Minnesota's GHG emissions. In December 2006, Governor Pawlenty announced the state's Next Generation Energy Initiative, including development of an aggressive plan to reduce GHG emissions in Minnesota. The original state plan was developed in February 2003 by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency through an EPA grant.


GHG Inventory

Status: Completed

Details: Minnesota's greenhouse gas inventory, published in March 2008, provides historical GHG emissions estimates from 1990 through 2005 and reference case projections from 2006 to 2020. Senate File 3337, passed by the Governor on May 12, 2008, requires the state's Department of Commerce and Pollution Control Agency to track greenhouse gas emissions and make interim reduction recommendations toward meeting the state's goal of reducing emissions by 80% by 2050. An advisory panel created by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty approved a mixture of strategies on January 24, 2008 that would reduce the state's GHG emissions by up to 30% by 2025. One of the proposed strategies is the development of GHG inventories, forecasting, reporting, and a registry. Minnesota completed an initial inventory in 1995.


Regional Initiatives

Status: Completed

Details: On May 19, 2008, Governor Tim Pawlenty approved legislation setting general guidelines for the Legislature's role in a regional, market-based system to control greenhouse gas emissions. The Green Solutions Act of 2008 (H.F. 3195) directs the Legislature to approve any regional cap-and-trade accord and authorizes studies on the program's effects on the environment, the economy, and public health and on how program revenue would be handled. An advisory panel created by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty approved a mixture of strategies on January 24, 2008, that would reduce the state's GHG emissions by up to 30% by 2025. The panel recommended that the state participate in a regional cap-and-trade system for carbon GHG emissions. Member of the Midwestern Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord, signed on November 15, 2007. Member states expect to complete a model GHG reporting rule by mid-2009. Powering the Plains Participant - Participants meet quarterly to develop and implement strategies, policies, initiatives and projects in energy and agriculture that add value to the region's economy while reducing the risk of climate change and other environmental concerns. Specific focus areas include renewable energy development, hydrogen production, carbon sequestration, coal gasification, and environmental credit trading. Member of Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium (LADCO) Regional GHG Registry.


State Advisory Board

Status: Completed

Details: An Executive Order signed by Governor Pawlenty on January 17, 2008, created the Minnesota Office of Energy Security within the Minnesota Department of Commerce to coordinate energy and climate issues throughout the state. Governor Tim Pawlenty created the Climate Change Advisory Group in April 2007 as a part of his Next Generation Energy Initiative. The group was tasked with developing a comprehensive set of state-level policy recommendations for reducing or sequestering greenhouse gas emissions and identifying opportunities to promote energy efficient technologies and clean, renewable energy resources that will enhance economic growth. The Advisory Group submitted its final report to the Governor and legislature in April 2008.


State and Regional Energy Planning

Status: Completed/Further Work Proposed

Details: Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty outlined a four-part energy initiative on January 17, 2008, which emphasizes local projects and research and development assistance. The Governor plans to create, via executive order, the Clean Energy Technology Collaborative—a 15-member panel appointed by the Governor that will develop a Clean Energy Technology Roadmap. In addition, he hopes to establish the Minnesota Office of Energy Security, which will coordinate energy and climate issues throughout the Governor's administration. Minnesota's Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) project (launched in 2003) was initiated to advance regional efforts to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy within the state. The state has 6 teams, made up of farmers, utility representatives, state and federal government staff, academics, small business owners, and members of non-profit and environmental groups, and each team has completed a strategic plan customized to take advantage of its regional resources. Now, the teams are working to disseminate the strategic plans, conduct education and outreach, and stimulate project development. Minnesota is a member of Powering the Plains (PTP), which aims to create an integrated energy strategy that builds on the region's comparative advantages. PTP focuses on (1) renewable energy development; (2) hydrogen production from renewable and carbon-neutral sources; (3) environmental credit trading; (4) carbon sequestration; and (5) coal gasification with carbon capture and geologic sequestration. The states have resolved to create scenarios for reducing GHG emissions 80% by 2050, but have set no specific energy goals yet.

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Targets and Caps

Lead by Example Target

Status: No Activity Identified


Statewide GHG Cap

Status: Proposed

Details: Member of the Midwestern Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord, signed on November 15, 2007. Under the Accord, members agree to establish regional GHG reduction targets, including a long-term target of 60% to 80% below current emissions levels, and develop a multi-sector cap-and-trade system to help meet the targets.


Statewide GHG Target

Status: Completed

Details: The Next Generation Energy Act of 2007, signed by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty on May 25, 2007, outlines goals for statewide GHG emissions reductions: 15% by 2015; 30% by 2025; and 80% by 2050. Member of the Midwestern Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord, signed on Nov. 15, 2007. Under the Accord, members agree to establish regional GHG reduction targets, including a long-term target of 60% to 80% below current emissions levels, and develop a multi-sector cap-and-trade system to help meet the targets.

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Transportation Sector

GHG Auto Standards

Status: Proposed

Details: An advisory panel created by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty approved a mixture of strategies on January 24, 2008, that would reduce the state's GHG emissions by up to 30% by 2025. One of the proposed strategies requires the adoption of California's vehicle emissions standards.


Low Carbon Fuel Standard

Status: No Activity Identified

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