Central Minnesota Renewables receives $500,000 grant
LITTLE FALLS — Central Minnesota Renewables LLC received a $500,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
Central Minnesota Renewables is one of five projects selected to receive NextGen Energy grants by the MDA. The grants fall under the Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation (AGRI) program to help creative and emerging agricultural projects acquire funding.
Central Minnesota Renewables, a company associated with Central Minnesota Ethanol Cooperative and its facility purchaser, Green Biologics, Inc., will receive funding for final engineering work needed to convert the existing plant to n-butanol production for the chemical industry. The facility has a capacity of 20 million gallons of ethanol per year.
In December, an agreement was approved by the Central Minnesota Ethanol Co-op to sell the plant to Green Biologics, which specializes in renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels. Green Biologics is based in Gahanna, Ohio. The sale is expected to be complete later this year.
Green Biologics expects to produce bio-based chemicals with the plant by early 2016.
Other projects that received NextGen funding included: Easy Energy Systems in Welcome; Segetis, Inc. in Golden Valley; the Natural Resources Research Institute in Duluth; and Duluth Steam, also in Duluth.
Easy Energy Systems was the only other project to receive $500,000. The other grants ranged from $150,000 to $325,000. All projects required at least a 50 percent match from the grantee.
They were selected among 35 projects submitted for consideration by a technical team made up of members from five state departments – Agriculture, Commerce, Natural Resources, Pollution Control, and Employment and Economic Development.
The NextGen Grant Program aims to expand and strengthen Minnesota’s commitment to locally-owned renewable energy projects in an effort to be a leading state in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For more, visit www.mda.state.mn.us.