This changed minimum spending requirement to energy savings requirement for Minnesota electric and natural gas utilities. Utilities are to reduce retail energy sales by 1.5% based on a three year average through Conservation Improvement Program (CIP) investments.
Status: For 2009 and 2010, energy savings achieved by Minnesota’s electric and gas utilities will save Minnesota customers roughly $2.6 billion over the average 15-year life of the measures. That means that for every $1 put into in CIP programs statewide, Minnesota will see a $5.46 return on investment. More details available in the recent CIP CO2 report.
Qualifiying Solar within CIP
Subd. 5a. Qualifying solar energy project. (a) A utility or association may include in its conservation plan (CIP) programs for the installation of qualifying solar energy projects as defined by section 216B.2411 to the extent of the spending allowed for generation projects by section 216B.2411. The cost-effectiveness of a qualifying solar energy project may be determined by a different standard than for other energy conservation improvements under this section if the commissioner determines it is in the public interest to do so to encourage solar energy projects.
Qualifying Renewable Natural Gas within CIP
216B.241Subd. 5b. Biomethane purchases. (a) A natural gas utility may include in its conservation plan (CIP) purchases of biomethane, and may use up to five percent of the total amount to be spent on energy conservation improvements under this section for that purpose. The cost-effectiveness of biomethane purchases may be determined by a different standard than for other energy conservation improvements under this section if the commissioner determines that doing so is in the public interest in order to encourage biomethane purchases.
(b) For the purposes of this subdivision, "biomethane" means biogas produced through anaerobic digestion of biomass, gasification of biomass, or other effective conversion processes, that is cleaned and purified into biomethane that meets natural gas utility quality specifications for use in a natural gas utility distribution system.