Gov. Jack Dalrymple today applauded the Environmental Protection Agency's long-awaited decision to approve a renewable fuels certification for Dakota Spirit AgEnergy's proposed biorefinery. With the certification approved, Dakota Spirit AgEnergy can move forward with plans to build a refinery near Jamestown that will be capable of producing about 65 million gallons of ethanol per year.
Gov. Dalrymple, the North Dakota Industrial Commission, the North Dakota Department of Commerce and the state's congressional delegation have all supported Dakota Spirit AgEnergy in obtaining the renewable fuels certificate.
"I am pleased that this EPA regulatory review has been completed and that the project can now move forward," Dalrymple said. "The biorefinery will provide another market for locally grown corn, it will create jobs and it will serve to further diversify our growing state economy."
The North Dakota Industrial Commission provided a $500,000 grant for the project's feasibility study. Members of the Industrial Commission are Gov. Dalrymple, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring.
"This is an example of the state, through the Renewable Energy Program, working in partnership with the private sector to facilitate the development of a new technology and demonstrating our commitment to supporting all sources of energy," said Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem. "Commissioner Goehring and I saw firsthand in Denmark how this renewable energy technology can be used to fuel our homes and industries in North Dakota and Minnesota."
The Dakota Spirit AgEnergy biorefinery, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Great River Energy, will be located adjacent to Great River Energy's Spiritwood Station power plant near Jamestown and Spiritwood, ND. Most of the energy needed to operate the corn-based biorefinery will come in the form of waste steam provided by Great River Energy's adjacent power plant. The power plant will go online once the ethanol plant is completed. Plans are for the power plant to also provide low-cost steam power to the nearby Cargill malt plant.
"This is the state's first advanced biofuels facility, a "hybrid' of sorts," said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. "Its unique design and features will produce a less carbon intensive biofuel and has the potential to produce the state's first cellulosic ethanol. I commend Great River Energy for its commitment and innovation in providing cutting edge technology and processes that responsibly utilize resources and deliver less expensive energy to the consumer."
Under the EPA's revised Renewable Fuel Standard, cornstarch-based ethanol production facilities built after 2007 are required to produce fuels containing 20 percent less carbon intensity than conventional transportation fuels. The EPA's approval certifies that Dakota Spirit AgEnergy meets the low-carbon threshold.