Minnesota Legislators Submit Bill to Create Grant Program for Solar Power Installations
February 10, 2010

Minnesota House Representatives Brita Sailer and Jeremy Kalin have submitted HF2586, which, if passed into law, would appropriate money for a solar power installation grant program. According to the bill, a solar energy installation account would be created and money in the account would be used for capital costs of solar energy installations in publicly owned buildings.

Under the proposed program, political subdivisions would be able to apply for a grant to acquire and install an eligible solar energy system on one or more state bond financed buildings that it owns. The bill explains that the money in the account each year would be allocated among the state's 11 regions equally and the commissioner of administration would make the grants on a first-come, first-served basis within each region.

The bill text also notes that if a grant awarded to a political subdivision is not encumbered within four years after the award date, it must be canceled. If, after five years, the commissioner of administration determines that a project has not proceeded in a timely manner and is unlikely to be completed, the commissioner of administration would be required to cancel the grant and all grant money awarded for that project must be returned. For industrial park development projects, if after five years the industrial park is not developed and available for business use, the commissioner of administration must cancel the grant and require the grantee to return all grant money for that project. If the industrial park is developed and available for use within five years, but no businesses have located in the park, the grantee is not required to return any grant money.

By January 15 of each year, the commissioner of administration would also be required to submit a list of the projects that have been funded with money from the account to the commissioner of management and budget and to the chairs of the House of Representatives and senate committees with jurisdiction over environment and natural resources finance and capital investment.

The bill has been referred to the chair of the House Energy Finance and Policy Division.

CLICK HERE to read the entire bill.

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