A Million Dollars a Month
by Antonio Acost (Faribault County Register) It pays to conserve energy. Especially, if you are producing ethanol.
Corn Plus officials in Winnebago will soon receive a check in the mail for $12 million.
“It’s going to keep us financially viable for some period of time,” says Mark Drake, the plant’s general manager. “We call it money from heaven.”
The money is part of the Bush-era tax cuts extended by Congress in December.
Included in the comprehensive package was the Alternative Fuel Mixture Tax Credit. Because the facility’s fluid-bed boiler burns?stillage — a corn syrup by-product of the ethanol process — with diesel to generate steam to operate the plant, it qualifies for the credit.
…Although installation of the fluid-bed was costly, Drake says the plant has reduced its use of natural gas by more than half. However, that hasn’t been the only benefit. …In March 2007, Corn Plus erected two wind turbines to produce about 45 percent of the electricity the plant needs. At the same time, the use of wind power also cut the facility’s greenhouse gas emissions. READ MORE