By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent

Representatives of Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions addressed county residents May 3 during afternoon and evening gatherings at the Bigwood Event Center in Fergus Falls.

Plans call for transporting captured carbon dioxide (CO2) by pipeline from the Green Plains Ethanol Plant west of Fergus Falls to a location south of Breckenridge. From there the CO2, if approved by state regulators, would be piped to north central North Dakota for sequestering and safe storage.

The Clean Fuel Production tax credit offers ethanol plants an incentive to reduce their carbon intensity scores. 

For every one carbon intensity point reduction, below a defined equivalent, ethanol plants are given a $0.02 per gallon tax credit. In recent years the Fergus Falls ethanol plant produced close to 55 million gallons of ethanol on an annual basis. This required corn deliveries from area farmers.

Funding for the CO2 pipelines would come from investors of Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions along with loans to the company.

Area farmers are being assured that there will only be voluntary easements, with no eminent domain. Also, there will be lifetime warranties on tile repairs on individual farm sites when needs arise. Land restoration is also assured as a continuing obligation of Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions.

Summit Carbon representatives emphasize that saline storage of CO2 is a proven practice, including CO2 from ethanol plants.

Construction would not likely begin until the summer of 2024. Among the hurdles, prior to construction, is the development of an Environmental Impact Statement is conjunction with state regulators.