Nine projects have been chosen to receive NextGen Energy grants for renewable energy projects. The projects represent a diverse collection of bioenergy projects located throughout the state, and funded at various levels.
A request for proposals (RFP) was posted in early September, 2011, with a deadline for submissions on November 4. A total of eighteen projects were reviewed by a technical team made up of members from five state departments – Agriculture, Commerce, Natural Resources, Pollution Control, and Employment and Economic Development. This team scored each of the proposals separately, and as a single team using the guidelines detailed in the RFP. The results of this process were reviewed by the board on December 8 and recommendations were made to Commissioner Frederickson at that time. All projects required at least a 50% match from the grantee.
Koda Energy LLC, Shakopee, MN - $480,000
The funds will pay for construction of a biofuels staging and processing facility in Scott County. The facility will aggregate and process (drying, size reduction) various biomass fuel stocks for use in Koda's CHP biomass facility located seven miles from this new facility. Fuel stocks include urban wood waste (a contract in place with the city of Minneapolis), agri-byproducts and potentially dedicated energy crops.
West Central Renewable Ammonia Development, Bloomington MN - $450,000
The grant will fund a second-stage feasibility study for a proposed biomass- to-ammonia plant near Willmar, MN. This project would convert 95,000 tons of biomass to 45,000 tons of anhydrous ammonia annually. The feasibility study will encompass the tasks of biomass supply and crop development, site preparation, vendor pricing and selection, process integration, marketing development, and financial analyses.
SarTec Corporation, Anoka, MN - $400,000
The project will design and build two farm-scale processing units that will use the company's continuous biodiesel process already in place at Evercat Fuels three million gallon capacity plant in Isanti. These units will make American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) specified biodiesel fuel. The two units will be tested and run with two farmer-partners with the intent of having the farmer-owner/operators of these units either using the fuel on their farms, or selling it to blenders.
Al-Corn Clean Fuel, Clairmont, MN - $248,000
With partner JetE of St. Paul, funds for this project will be used for a complete technical and economic analysis for the integration of a second-generation biofuels production facility with the existing and/or expanded ethanol plant. The completed facility would produce drop-in compatible green jet and/or diesel fuel in addition to reduced carbon footprint ethanol. The project will create a roadmap for other ethanol producers in the state that will be immediately applicable with the exception of site and location-specific details.
Renville Renewable Energy LLC, St. Paul, MN - $220,000
Funds will support the development of Phase 2 costs for an anaerobic digester and associated systems located adjacent to a poultry facility in Renville. The project proposes to use multiple waste streams - both agricultural processing and production wastes - collected from the Renville area as co-digestion material. Biogas will be cleaned to the standard of pipeline grade natural gas. Also included in the study will be the production of nutrient-rich liquid and solid byproduct (crop nutrients) from the digester effluent.
Northern Excellence Seed LLC, Williams, MN - $200,000
This project builds on the installed 150-kW biomass gasification unit already installed on Northern Excellence's Williams site. The award will help make this system operational using the company's seed screenings. Syngas from the gasifier will provide the energy to produce electric power that will be sold to the grid.
Central Lakes College and Ag Energy Center, Staples, MN - $193,000
This grant award at Central Lakes College is a continuation of previous funding (including NextGen 2008). Various oilseed crops (camelina, spring canola, winter canola, high oil soybeans, sunflowers) or planting methods (camelina/soybean double cropping) will be grown and converted to biodiesel at the site using small-scale processing technology. Feed trials will be conducted using the meal products created from oil extraction. A commercial planting of miscanthus, the winner of CLC's biomass crop trials, will be established, harvested and processed for biofuel.
Jerry Jennissen, Jer-Lindy Farms, Brooten, MN - $137,000
The funds will be used to improve operation of the current anaerobic digestion system on the farm. The system in place has been operational since 2008. Some of the improvements include use of additional substrate to improve gas production, an innovative genset design to improve overall efficiency in output of electricity to the grid, and improved quality of the digester's cattle bedding co-product.
Rural Advantage, Fairmont, MN - $72,000
The grant will fund a Phase 1 feasibility study and business plan to assist Prairie Skies Biomass Co-op in developing operational procedures, membership policies and feedstock contracts for a 300 ton/day torrefaction facility in Madelia, MN. The facility would convert raw agricultural biomass to an advanced biofuel to be sold to offsite markets.