Peterson Announces USDA Funding for Gasifier Project in Williams

Jun 27, 2007 Issues: Energy

(WASHINGTON, DC)—U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson announced that the Giziibii Resource Conservation & Development Council in Bemidji has been awarded $229,700 for a Demonstration & Evaluation of Burning Waste Streams Project from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service 2007 Conservation Innovation Grants Awards.

The project will evaluate biomass produced on two demonstration farms and burned in a low-water use gasification system for the production of syngas to generate electricity. This power will be used at the Northern Excellence seed processing facility in Williams, Minnesota.

“Gasification is a proven technology, but it is fairly new in the United States for smaller-scale operations,” Peterson said. “This is exactly the kind of funding that Congress should be providing to address the need for more renewable energy.”

Northern Excellence Seed will be part of one of the first commercialized applications of smaller-scale biomass in the United States, and they will replace their electrical demand through gasification of waste products.

Northern Excellence Seed, LLC is a producer-owned cooperative made up of 30 members. All of these producers are eligible for EQIP. Installation of a 100-kilowatt gasifier at the Northern Excellence Seed, LLC will produce an estimated 744,600-kilwatts per year. Biomass sources include 2 million pounds of seed screenings per year from Northern Excellence Seed, LLC and producers growing perennial energy crops within a reasonable distance from the seed plant.

Gasification of biomass for electricity is a proven technology. Long-term use and available demonstration sites are not readily available however. This project will resolve these issues and provide vital information to producers considering the value of perennial energy crops. The energy produced will improve atmospheric air quality in multiple ways.

Perennial grass crops have been shown to capture and store carbon dioxide. These carbon sequestrations along with the replacement of coal generated electricity to a renewable energy source are the primary purposes of this project.