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Title: Site Permit for Large Electric Generating Power Plant
Alternate Title:
Description: Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC)
Subject: Electric Power Plants
Creation Date: 9/11/2008 2:17:15 PM
Modification Date: 1/9/2020 4:16:47 PM
Agency Name: Public Utilities Commission (PUC), Minnesota
Agency URL:
Agency Description: 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.
Agency Phone: 651-296-7124
Agency Fax: 651-297-7073
Agency URL:
Agency Address:
121 7th Place East, Suite 350

St. Paul
MN 55101-2147

Audience: Hold Application URL:
Renewal URL:
Versa URL:

Any proposed power plant 50 megawatts or more must obtain a site permit from the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), although an applicant has the option to seek local approval for power plants under 80 megawatts and natural gas fired peaking plants. See Minn. Stat. Chapter 216E

Permit Application:

-a statement of proposed ownership.

-at least two proposed sites for the proposed Large Electric Power Generating Plant (LEPGP).

-a description of the proposed LEPGP and all associated facilities, including the size and type of the facility.

-the name of the owner of the property where the sites are proposed.

-the engineering and operational design for the LEPGP at each of the proposed sites.

-cost analysis of the LEPGP at each proposed site.

-an engineering analysis of each of the proposed sites.

-identification of transportation, pipeline, and electrical transmission systems that will be required to maintain the facility.

-a listing and brief description of federal and state permits that may be required for the project at each proposed site.

-a copy of the Certificate of Need for the project from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission or the application for a Certificate of Need.

-substantial information regarding the human and environmental impacts associated with the facility to be used in preparing an Environmental Impact Statement.

Permit Process:

~Public Notice
~Public Meetings
~An Environmental Impact Statement
~Contested Case Hearing conducted by administrative law judge.
~Citizen advisory task force may be appointed to help identify alternative sites.

1. An alternative permitting process is available for power plants under 80 megawatts or any size plant fueled by natural gas. This alternative process does not require identification of a alternative site, the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (a shorter Environmental Assessment is required) nor the holding of a hearing conducted by an administrative law judge (a hearing conducted by the agency is required). This alternative process must be completed in six months from the time the application is accepted. See Minn. Stat. Chapter 216E 

2. New power plants under 50 megawatts but over 25 megawatts do not require a site permit from the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), but do require an environmental assessment worksheet under the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act (Minn. Stat. Chapter 116D) and Minn. Rules 4410.4300. New power plants under 5 megawatts are exempt from any state environmental review, and plants between 5 and 25 megawatts may be subject to discretionary review. 

3. A certificate of need for the project from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is required for all new power plants over 50 megawatts, except a few modifications of existing plants, before the PUC can issue a site permit. 

See the Minnesota Power Plant Siting Act, Minn. Stat. Chapter 216E

For further information about the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) permits, or other activities of the PUC, visit the PUC website.

Rules: 7850

Statutes: 216E


No specific forms required. Permit application requirements are specified in Minn. Rules 7850


Permit fee is $500 per $1 million of plant investment, but limited to actual costs.

Additional fees may be required to complete the environmental impact statement.

Period of Issuance:

Indefinite; life of plant.

Length of Determination: Permit must be issued within one year of accepting the application, with a possible 90-day extension for just cause.
Other Info:
Activity: Energy Facilities
Large Electric Generating Power Plant
License Detail URL:

Public Utilities Commission (PUC), Minnesota

eDockets and eFiling

MN Public Utilities Commission (PUC)

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