In 2002, the legislature passed a law requiring that diesel fuel sold in Minnesota contain at least 2 percent biodiesel (B2) (Minnesota Statutes 239.77). The law was implemented on September 29, 2005, with a few exceptions for certain engines including railroad locomotives, off-road taconite and copper mining equipment and heating equipment motors located at nuclear power plants.
Currently 10 percent biodiesel is required to be blended with #2 diesel fuel from April 1 to September 30 each year, with the blend lowered to B5 for the colder weather months of October through March. The statute now reads that the mandate would move to B20 on May 1, 2018. Implementation of the B10 mandate was delayed until July 1, 2014 due to inadequate blending infrastructure in the southwestern area of the state, and inadequate regulatory protocol for Minnesota Weights and Measures enforcement. Both of those obstacles were determined to have been overcome in the summer of 2013, and B10 was implemented in 2014.
According to state statute, the requirements for B10 and B20 are only be effective during the summer months (April through September). In winter, the mandate will revert back to 5 percent unless state officials and technical experts determine that accepted federal standards deem certain higher blends as suitable for year-round use in Minnesota. In addition, before implementing blending requirements of B10 and B20, state officials must ensure that a variety of conditions are met including sufficient fuel and/or feedstock supply, adequate blending infrastructure, and the existence of federal standards for mandated blends.
Minnesota has three biodiesel plants with a combined production capacity of approximately 63 million gallons, as follows: