EPA approves efficient producer pathway for Poet plant

By Erin Voegele | September 22, 2016

On Sept. 19, the U.S. EPA approved an efficient producer pathway petition for Poet Biorefining – Lake Crystal, bringing the total number of plants to receive pathway approvals under the efficient producer program to approximately 62. The 56 MMgy facility is located in Lake Crystal, Minnesota.

Plants that have approved efficient producer pathways are able to generate renewable identification numbers (RINs) for production volumes above those grandfathered under current renewable fuel standard (RFS) regulations. When the RFS was established in its current form, the rulemaking grandfathered in the production volume of existing corn ethanol plants. To qualify for compliance with the RFS program, any new production above the grandfathered gallons must meet a 20 percent greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction threshold when compared to the program’s gasoline baseline. The efficient producer pathway petition process is designed to aid ethanol plants in gaining pathway approval for expanded production above those grandfathered volumes.

According to documents published by the EPA, the Poet Biorefining – Lake Crystal plant achieves a 20.1 percent GHG reduction level when compared to baseline gasoline. A typical natural gas-fired dry mill ethanol plant that produces 100 percent distillers dried grains achieves a 16.8 percent reduction.

A full copy of the petition approval can be downloaded from the EPA website.