Businesses and Bioenergy

Koda Energy Project, Shakopee, MN

The Koda Energy Project is a partnership between Rahr Malting Company and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.  Since this project opened in 2009, Rahr no longer needs to pipe in natural gas from Texas to run its plant.   

"This plant can be a real opportunity for the Minnesota River Valley, giving farmers alternative income options.  They could put floodplain acres into perennial energy crops that stabilize soil, improve water quality, and serve wildlife, vs. traditional row crops." 
Paul Kramer, VP of Malt Operations, Rahr Malting Company

Laurentian Energy Authority, Hibbing/ Virginia, MN

The Laurentian Energy Authority is a joint venture of the Hibbing and Virginia Municipal Public Utilities.  In 2007, it began burning wood, coal, and natural gas in co-firing wood boilers to produce steam heat for the two towns.  For the next 20 years, it is mandated to use an average of 75% woody biomass.

"In 2010 we'll use 220,000 tons of wood, all from a 75-mile radius.  We have 1,700 acres in hybrid poplar to supply 5% of our needs; the 2004 planting is ready now.  We also use timber slash and trees lost to fire, insects, and blowdown." 
Terry Leoni, General Manager, Laurentian Energy Authority

Pork and Plants LLC, Altura, MN

Pork and Plants is a combination hog farm and greenhouse (65,000 sq ft.) operated in southeastern Minnesota by the Kreidermacher family.  The company produces and uses its own onfarm bioenergy.  Two biomass boilers heat the growing range, home, and barns, using pellets produced on the farm.  By using around 500 tons of pellets each year, Pork and Plants saves 50% in energy costs.

"Using bioenergy means taking a fresh look at leftovers around the farm.  We've found the pellets that stick together and burn best are a mixture of corn stover, wood, soybean straw and prairie grasses harvested from our own planting." 
Maria Kreidermacher, Marketing, Pork and Plants LLC 

 Visit the Arboretum to learn more about these bioenergy projects!