Certificate of Need
Agency contact information:
Public Utilities Commission (PUC), Minnesota
121 7th Place East, Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55101-2147
(651) 296-7124 | (800) 657-3782
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) regulates three service industries in Minnesota, electricity, natural gas, and telephone. It is the commission's responsibility to ensure that vendors of these services provide safe, adequate, and reliable service at fair, reasonable rates.
Minn. Stats. 216B.243
MINNESOTA RULES 7849.
, and 7829.
Application requirements, procedural information, required fees, and the criteria for assessment of need are given in Minn. Rules 7849. (power plants and transmission lines), 7851. (gas storage and gas pipelines), 7853. (petroleum pipelines), and 7855. (fuel conversion facilities, coal liquids pipelines, nuclear fuel processing facilities, and nuclear waste storage or disposal facilities); In addition, certain sections of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, Minn. Rules, parts 7829. 0100 to 7829. 3200 (especially part 7829. 2500) also apply.
There is no form to fill out. Rather, an applicant is expected to respond to the rule requirements specified above.
The Applicant must describe the proposed facility and its probable location, indicate forecast information upon which the alleged need is based, discuss possible alternatives and why they were rejected, and provide environmental information related to construction and operation of the proposed facility.
The specific requirements are quite detailed and vary by type of facility.
The fees vary by type of facility, as does the amount that must accompany the application. The fee rules are Minn. Rules 7849.0210, 7851.0210, 7853.0210, and 7855.0210.
The Commission will bill an applicant for additional costs beyond the set fees.
Additional fees may be required to cover costs of any rehearing.
Period of Issuance:
The certificate of need is a construction permit, not an operating permit. As a result, the permit does not expire or have to be renewed (although the Commission possibly could withdraw a certificate of need if construction does not commence within a reasonable, but unspecified, amount of time).
Length of Determination Process:
The statute provides an advisory deadline of twelve months (from the time a complete application is filed until a written decision is rendered). The Commission may extend this time period for just cause.
Other Pertinent Information:
See Minn. Stat. § 216B.2421, subd. 2 which defines "large energy facility".
See Minn. Stat. § 216B.2425, which has information regarding the alternative review procedure for determining need for transmission lines.
There are no guidebooks or brochures available providing additional information on the certificate of need process. However, depending upon the type of facility, the Commission may be able to direct an applicant to other applications that can serve as a guidebook.