Dakota Spirit AgEnergy achieves RFS approval from the EPA

By Great River Energy | February 12, 2013

Dakota Spirit AgEnergy has achieved renewable fuel standard (RFS2) certification through the U.S. EPA for its proposed 65 million gallon per year biorefinery that will produce ethanol, distillers grains and fuel-grade corn oil at the Spiritwood Energy Park near Jamestown, N.D.

“We are pleased we could bring the EPA regulatory review of our unique RFS2 pathway to a successful and collaborative conclusion,” said Greg Ridderbusch, president of Dakota Spirit AgEnergy, and vice president of business development and strategy, Great River Energy.

Under the EPA’s revised renewable fuel standard, cornstarch-based ethanol production facilities built after 2007 are required to have lifecycle carbon intensities 20 percent lower than conventional motor fuels. EPA’s RFS2 approval this week affirms that Dakota Spirit AgEnergy meets the 20 percent threshold. The lower intensity is primarily due to the use of steam from Spiritwood Station to power the biorefinery.

Dakota Spirit AgEnergy, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Great River Energy, will be located adjacent to Great River Energy’s Spiritwood Station near Jamestown and Spiritwood, N.D. As a combined heat and power plant, and when fully utilized, Spiritwood Station will be about 66 percent energy efficient. Most conventional coal-based power plants are 30 to 35 percent efficient.

To date, Dakota Spirit AgEnergy has completed business planning, engineering and now, RFS2 certification. Ongoing financing work is left to complete before groundbreaking in summer 2013.

When operational, the biorefinery will utilize 23 million bushels of No. 2 yellow corn to produce 65 million gallons of ethanol per year, as well as corn oil and distiller’s grains. Future growth opportunities for the biorefinery are also being explored with emerging technologies such as cellulosic, isobutanol and other biofuel technologies.

The biorefinery will have a significant impact on the local economy through the creation of 36 direct jobs. The project will also create approximately 275 trade and construction jobs during the 18-month construction period.