EPA approves efficient producer pathway for Kentucky plant

By Erin Voegele | January 17, 2017

The U.S. EPA recently approved an efficient producer pathway petition for Commonwealth Agri-Energy LLC, bringing the total number of plants to receive pathway approvals under the efficient producer program to approximately 64. The facility, located in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, has a nameplate capacity of 35 MMgy, according to the Ethanol Producer Magazine online plant map.

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, Commonwealth Agri-Energy process achieves a 20.1 percent GHG reduction 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