Omnibus Energy Bills

The Legislature is on Break until April 18th.  When they return a conference committee will be appointed to work out the differences between the House and Senate Omnibus Jobs Bills (which includes energy provisions)..
SENATE VERSION (Senate File 1937): 
1)   Provision to modify the Solar Energy Standard (SES) for MN Power and Otter Tail Power.  The bill would increase  the 10% "small solar" mandate as part of the 1.5% SES to 40 kw from the current 20 kw.  The legislation would also allow individual "subscriptions" to community solar gardens to be counted towards the 10% "small solar" mandate.  These changes will give MN Power and Otter Tail Power more flexibility in meeting the solar mandate.
The legislation does not impact Xcel Energy's obligation to meet the 1.5% Solar Energy Standard and the 10% emphasis for 20 kw projects (small solar).
2)  Another provision would direct the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to consider other factors such as the impacts on reliability and the impacts relating to the intermittent nature of a renewable energy facility on whether a proposed generation project is considered "least-cost" as part of a Utility's Resource Planning.
HOUSE VERSION (House File 2209): 
1)  Similar language to modify the SES is included in the House Omnibus Energy bill.  The language would increase the "small solar" to 40 kw for MN Power and Otter Tail Power.
2)  Also similar to language in the Senate Omnibus bill is a provision requiring the PUC to consider other factors when approving a generation project as part of a Utility's Resource Plan (IRP).
3)  A provision to change the appointment process to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC).  Instead of all the Commissioners being appointed by the Governor this legislation would require the Majority and Minority Parties in the House and Senate to each appoint a person.  It would also require the Governor to appoint a person.  This process ensure no more than three people of the same political party would be appointed to the PUC.
Status:  The bills will be debated in Conference Committee to reach one, agreed upon bill.