– February 19, 2018, Bioenergy Insight
Photo: Swift County Monitor
A recently published study from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has revealed the economic impact of closing a biomass power plant in the state.
In spring 2017 the Minnesota state legislature passed a law allowing Xcel Energy to buy and then shutdown Benson Power, a 50mW biomass facility that uses a mixture of poultry litter and wood to generate electricity. When announcing the closure, the legislature also directed DEED to carry out a study on the economic impact, state-wide, of closing the facility.
– December 6, 2017, Waste360
Solid waste services company Meridian Waste Solutions Inc. continued a flurry of recent activity with the announcement that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Attis Innovations (formerly Meridian Innovations), has initiated commercialization plans for it first biomass processing facility in Minnesota.
Attis will immediately begin feedstock evaluation and assess potential locations for commercial scale operations.
– by Mike Hughlett, November 30, 2017, Star Tribune
Minnesota utility regulators on Thursday approved Xcel Energy’s plan that will result in closing three biomass electricity generators.
The move will save ratepayers money but will also lead to some economic distress for the timber and turkey farming industries.
Xcel plans to buy and close a plant in the western Minnesota town of Benson, which burns turkey manure to produce electricity. The Minneapolis-based utility will also buy out its contract to purchase power from two wood-burning plants on the Iron Range.
– by Tom Meersman, November 20, 2017, Star Tribune
A group of loggers in Minnesota is using an environmental law to sue Xcel Energy about three biomass plants in the state that burn wood waste or turkey manure to produce electricity.
The Associated Contract Loggers & Truckers of Minnesota filed the lawsuit last week in state court to stop Xcel from buying and shutting down one plant and ending contracts with two others. The move, the group said, would eliminate 100 direct jobs and hundreds of indirect jobs.
– by Christine Bauman, June 11, 2017, Alpha News
Photo: Alpha News
Gov. Mark Dayton recently signed into law the omnibus jobs and energy bill allowing the Xcel Energy-managed Renewable Development Fund to be used to shut down three biomass power plants in Benson, Hibbing, and Virginia, Minnesota.
In 1994, Xcel Energy’s predecessor Northern States Power Co. wanted to expand their radioactive waste storage. The power company reached an agreement with the state, allowing an increase in nuclear storage in exchange for funding and development of clean energy alternatives. The Renewable Development Fund was created as a result of the agreement. Xcel was also required to use renewable sources, including biomass, for some of their energy production.
– by David Chanen and Kelly Smith, September 16, 2016, Star Tribune
Hennepin Energy Recovery Center (Photo: Star Tribune)
The company that runs Hennepin County’s large garbage burner in downtown Minneapolis is suing the county, arguing it sabotaged negotiations over a new multimillion-dollar contract.
Covanta, which has run and managed the Hennepin Energy Recovery Center (HERC) for 27 years, filed the federal lawsuit Thursday. The move comes after the county accepted a proposed agreement from Maple Grove-based Great River Energy last month and gave Delaware-based Covanta a Sept. 22 deadline to agree to the terms or the Minnesota company would get the job.
What’s at stake is a 16-month contract for $25.5 million starting in 2018.
– June 22, 2016, Lakeland Broadcasting Company
Photo: Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune
A Faribault County ethanol plant is fined again for environmental violations.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says the Corn Plus plant in Winnebago has agreed to take a series of corrective actions and pay a penalty of over 39-thousand dollars after regulators found several violations of the plant’s stormwater permit. The permit sets conditions to ensure that the facility’s runoff doesn’t pollute lakes, streams or groundwater.
The M-P-A said Tuesday that some of the violations involve management of water in the plant’s stormwater ponds. Since 2009, state and federal regulators have fined Corn Plus more than one-point-one million dollars for air and water quality violations.