Renewable Energy Commerce Thrives in SW Minnesota

St. Paul, Minnesota [] Part of Minnesota’s national leadership in the development of alternative fuels can be attributed to an 18-county region in rural southwestern Minnesota that produces more than 70 percent of the state’s wind power and hosts biomass and biogas projects that make primary methane gas from decomposing biological waste. A new plant in the region will create electricity from turkey droppings while another will convert solid municipal waste into a clean-burning, synthetic gas. Another pumps out 45 million gallons of ethanol a year and will create biomass energy from corn stalks and husks. Minnesota requires that all diesel fuel contain 2 percent biodiesel, and all gasoline sold in the state must contain 10 percent ethanol — increasing to 20 percent by 2013. Governor Pawlenty, chair of the Governors Ethanol Coalition in 2005, recently wrote to U.S. oil companies, urging them to join Minnesota in a nationwide drive to expand the awareness and availability of ethanol-blended fuels.
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