Minn. biomass power projects receive funding

By Luke Geiver | March 07, 2012

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has provided financial support to three Minnesota biomass power projects.

The funding comes after the Next Generation Energy Board of MDA completed a selection process that narrowed down 18 possible funding recipients to nine. The NextGen board, formed in 2007 to develop bioenergy in the state, will now provide grant funding to two anaerobic digestion facilities and one biomass gasification project.

Renville Renewable Energy LLC will receive $220,000 to move into phase two of a research project adjacent to a poultry facility in Renville, Minn. The project currently includes an anaerobic digestion system, but with the funding the project will begin processing agricultural and production waste streams, reporting on feasibility.

Northern Excellence Seed LLC out of Williams, will use $200,000 to modify an existing gasification unit. The company hopes to utilize seed screenings to produce syngas that can be converted to power for the local grid. And, Jer-Lindy Farms from Brooten, will use $137,000 to update equipment used at an existing anaerobic digestion system on a dairy farm. The equipment will allow the system, which began operating in 2008, to process additional organic materials, which will result in more gas production and a better system design, according to the company.

The NextGen board is made up of members of the Minnesota departments of agriculture, commerce, employment and economic development, natural resources, and the Pollution Control Agency.

“These grants support the innovation, research and development in which companies are investing to help us get a step closer to the production of new biofuels,” said Dave Frederickson, NextGen board chair, adding that interesting developments are on the horizon for the projects awarded funding.