Public Participation

The Commission encourages and relies upon public participation in making siting and routing decisions. A number of tools are offered here to assist citizens in discovering, tracking, and commenting on energy facility projects proposed for their communities.

You can search for projects by type (e.g., transmission line) and location (e.g. Brown County) in the project database. You can find an overview of how to participate in the Commission's permitting processes and what to expect in the processes by clicking the  "How to Participate" tab above.| Cómo participar.

Notices, Press releases and meetings

Notice of energy facility permitting milestones and opportunities for participation are sent to persons who sign up for the project mailing list. Notices are sent via regular U.S. mail or by electroncic mail (email), whichever you prefer.

Project Mailing Lists.  Persons who sign up for a project mailing list receive all public notices for that project.  To sign up for a project mailing list, contact the public advisor in the consumer affairs office at the Commission:, 651-296-0406 or 1-800-657-3782.  If you leave a phone message or send an email, please be sure to include: (1) how you would like to receive notices (regular mail or email) and (2) your complete mailing or email address.

General Contact List.  Persons who sign up for the general contact list receive a notice when: (1) an application for an energy facility is submitted to the Commission, (2) a request for a minor alternation is made to the Commission, and (3) a utility notifies the Commission  that it is seeking local permitting approval for a project.  The general contact list applies to projects statewide.  This list receives only an initial notice and no subsequent notices. To receive subsequent notices for a project, you must sign up for the appropriate project mailing list.

To sign up for the general contact list, contact the public advisor in the consumer affairs office at the Commission:, 651-296-0406 or 1-800-657-3782.

eDockets and Electronic Subscriptions.  All documents and proceedings of a permitting process are collected in an electronic docket (eDockets). You can subscribe to a docket such that you receive an email every time a submission to the docket is made. To subscribe to a specific docket, you must know the docket number for the docket.  Projects and their docket numbers can be found by clicking on the energy facility tabs on this website, by searching the project database (above), or by searching eDockets.  You can subscribe to an electronic docket here.

Public comments on proposed energy facilities can be submitted in a variety of ways - including submitting a comment here.

There are currently no projects accepting environmental review comments. To ensure that you are notified when a public comment period is open, consider using one of the other public participation tools (above) to track projects relevant to your community and interests. When a project opens for comment, a link will appear here.

If you believe there is an open project comment period, it may be that comments are being directed to another agency, e.g. an administrative law judge from the Office of Administrative Hearings. Please check the applicable notice for the appropriate place to send comments.

To assist citizens in tracking projects, RSS feeds are available by project and county.  RSS 'pushes' information on projects to you so that you do not have to continually return to project pages to check for updates. More about RSS feeds.

Citizens can follow energy facility permitting milestones and meetings on Twitter. The Minnesota Department of Commerce sends out a couple of tweets each day on a range of topics, including environmental review of proposed energy facilities. We won't over-tweet, usually only a few a day. We will not tweet on weekends or holidays except in emergencies. The Department's Twitter handle is @MNCommerce. To follow us, click on the button below or follow this link.


Resources for citizens, agencies, and prospective permit applicants.

  • Solar Siting and Environmental Review Working Group - Final Report: Recognizing that Minnesota is entering a period of unprecedented solar growth and development, the Minnesota Department of Commerce convened the Solar Siting and Environmental Review Working Group (Working Group) to discuss and identify issues and opportunities related to reviewing, permitting, and siting new solar facilities. The Working Group – a small but broad stakeholder group of advocates, developers, local governments, state agencies, and utilities – agreed there is a state interest in permitting solar facilities below the current 50 MW specified in the Minnesota Power Plant Siting Act. Participants also agreed that a local permitting option should exist for local governments that have ordinances addressing solar facilities. , March 26, 2015. (1.26 M, .pdf) | Report details
  • Bat Fatality Rates and Effects of Changes in Operational Cut-In Speeds at Commercial Wind Farms in Southern Minnesota - Year 1: The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Energy Environmental Review and Analysis (DOC EERA) unit and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) have secured grant funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) through the State Wildlife Grant Program to conduct a study looking at bat fatalities at three operating wind energy facilities in southern Minnesota. The first two years (2013 and 2014) of the MN Bat Study consist of conducting standardized searches at randomly selected turbines at all three wind energy facilities, and developing baseline bat fatality estimates utilizing the most recent fatality estimate calculations. The final year of the study will focus on the development, implementation and evaluation of operational curtailment measures, and the associated effects to bat fatality estimates determined with standard searches. The wind energy facilities in the study are Big Blue Wind Facility (Faribault County), Oak Glen Wind Facility (Steele County), and Grand Meadow Wind Facility (Mower County). For additional information on the MN Bat Study please direct your correspondence to DOC EERA staff, Richard Davis ( , May 23, 2014. (8.45 M, .pdf) | Report details
  • Barriers and Opportunities for Post-Construction Wildlife Monitoring at Wind energy Facilities in the Great Lakes Region: Dovetail Partners Inc. report examining barriers to, and opportunities for, post-construction wildlife monitoring, focusing on wind energy facilities in the Great Lakes region (including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin). , November 26, 2012. (3.06 M, .pdf) | Publication details
  • International Wind Energy Policies: An international review of policies and recommendations for wind turbine setbacks from residences, April 27, 2012. () | Report details
  • Summary of Wind Energy Policies by Country: A summary table of policies and recommendations for wind turbine setbacks from residences, April 27, 2012. () | Report details
  • Post-Construction Monitoring of Wind Projects: Data Gaps and Recommendations for Further Research in Minnesota: Report summarizing avian impacts of wind projects, identifying data gaps, and recommending further research on impacts to birds and bats in Minnesota, December 21, 2010. (2.56 M, .pdf) | Publication details
  • Public Health Impacts of Wind Turbines: An evaluation of the potential health effects of low frequency vibrations and sound associated with wind turbines , May 29, 2009. () | Report details
  • Electric and Magnetic Field (EMF) Policy and Mitigation Options: A white paper on electric and magnetic fields (EMF) prepared by the Minnesota state interagency working group - September 2002; posted, January 1, 2009. (413.67K, .pdf) | Report details
Older Resources and Publications:
Power plants  |  Pipelines  |  Wind power  |  Nuclear power Transmission Lines