University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
Initiative for Renewable Energy & the Environment

S.F. No. 550, Conference Committee Report

86th Legislative Session (2009-2010)

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 116C.779, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Beginning July 1, 2009, and each July 1 through 2012, $5,000,000 must be allocated from the renewable development account to fund a grant to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota for the Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment.

The Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment must set aside at least 15 percent of the funds received annually under the grant for qualified projects conducted at a rural campus or experiment station. Any set-aside funds not awarded to a rural campus or experiment station at the end of the fiscal year revert back to the Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment for its exclusive use.

This subdivision does not create an obligation to contribute funds to the account. Activities funded under this grant may include, but are not limited to:

  • Environmentally sound production of energy from a renewable energy source, including biomass and agricultural crops
  • Environmentally sound production of hydrogen from biomass and any other renewable energy source for energy storage and energy utilization
  • Development of energy conservation and efficient energy utilization technologies
  • Energy storage technologies
  • Analysis of policy options to facilitate adoption of technologies that use or produce low-carbon renewable energy

For the purposes of this subdivision:

  • “Biomass” means plant and animal material, agricultural and forest residues, mixed municipal solid waste, and sludge from wastewater treatment.
  • “Renewable energy source” means hydro, wind, solar, biomass and geothermal energy, and microorganisms used as an energy source.

Beginning January 15 of 2010, and each year thereafter, the director of the Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment at the University of Minnesota shall submit a report to the chair and ranking minority members of the senate and house of representatives committees with primary jurisdiction over energy finance describing the activities conducted during the previous year funded under this subdivision. This section is effective the day following final enactment.

NOTE:  In the 2011 Session, the sunset language for the IREE allocation was moved up to July 2011.  In the 2012 Session, SF 2181 was passed without extending the allocation to IREE, thus ending the RDF transfer to IREE

The Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment (IREE) is a signature program of the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment.

Check out IREE's research impacts, pioneering projects, external collaborations, educational initiatives and more in the 2012 annual report (PDF).

Measuring the carbon footprint of Gevo, Inc.’s Luverne, MN corn supply: A survey based assessment of the potential for delivering a low carbon corn grain feedstock for biofuels. Read the report (PDF).