The Commission’s Energy Facilities Unit manages state oversight of proposals to construct or modify large energy facilities in Minnesota, which include electric power plants and transmission lines, wind power generation plants, and gas and petroleum facilities. The Commission’s jurisdiction may include a state Certificate of Need and/or a state Site or Route Permit. Applications for projects subject to the Commission’s jurisdiction are filed with the Commission in compliance with state statues and administrative rules. Joint applications for a Certificate of Need and a Site or Route Permit are allowed. The Commission's procedures for review of proposed large energy facilities incorporate compliance with the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act and provide for broad spectrum public participation, including timely public notice and multiple opportunities for public comment. The Commission's decisions preempt local jurisdictional authority. Information about past and current project permitting dockets is available on Certificate of Need and Siting and Routing. In addition to the review of requested permits for large energy projects, the Public Utilities Commission has specific jurisdiction related to electric transmission planning.
The Siting and Routing Permits jurisdiction was transferred by 2005 legislation from the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. The staff supporting the program were moved to the Office of Energy Security within the Minnesota Department of Commerce. This program and its staff (Energy Facilities Permitting section) assist the commission by administering the review and analysis of siting and routing applications, and making recommendations to the commission for decisions. Certain environmental review procedures are the exclusive jurisdiction of the Office of Energy Security.