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Certificate of Need

Relevant Statutes and Rules: Minn. Stat. §§ 216B.243, 216B.2421/Minn. Rules 7849

A certificate of need (CN) is a document issued by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (Commission) that shows there is a need for the power produced. A CN is needed to build a large energy facility unless the applicant can show that the demand for the electricity cannot be met more cost effectively by other measures. There are exemptions to the requirement listed in statute.

There are two methods used for the review of applications for certificates of need: informal review process and contested case. Most certificate of need applications are examined using the informal review process. If there is known controversy related to a proposed large energy project or if the Commission believes there are issues about the project that should be examined more closely, they may choose the contested case process.

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