Hoeven: Partnering Traditional and Renewable Energy in Innovative Ways an Important Part of America's Energy Future

Senator Marks Groundbreaking of Dakota Spirit Biorefinery

SPIRITWOOD, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today marked the groundbreaking for Great River Energy’s (GRE) Dakota Spirit AgEnergy biofuels facility in the Spiritwood Energy Park near Jamestown. Within three years, the energy park will be home to a coal-fired power plant, an ethanol biorefinery and fertilizer plant. Partnerships between traditional and renewable energy producers like these are a model of integrated ag-energy development and an important part of America’s energy future, the senator said.

The Dakota Spirit AgEnergy biorefinery will be collocated in the park with Spiritwood Station, GRE’s combined heat and coal-fired power plant, enabling the biofuels facility to make use of excess steam from the coal plant. In addition, the ethanol facility will access gray water from the nearby city of Jamestown to produce transportation fuel. The production process will create new efficiencies to conserve energy and resources and bring down the cost of production.

Additionally, the biorefinery will be a boon to farmers because it will use 23 million bushels of No. 2 yellow corn annually to produce 65 million gallons of ethanol, as well as corn oil and distiller’s grains. The plant is expected to employ 36 people and support approximately 275 jobs during construction. GRE’s ultimate objective is to develop the next generation of biofuels manufacturing using cellulosic, isobutanol and other biofuel technologies.

“The Dakota Spirit AgEnergy facility is a glimpse into the future, a model of what we can accomplish when traditional and renewable energy interests leverage technology and work together to grow our economy, create jobs and meet the challenge of supplying our nation’s energy needs,” Hoeven said. “This innovative new facility will help bring down the cost of fuel for consumers, create a new market for farmers and bring us a step closer to our long-sought goal of American energy independence.”

As a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Hoeven has been pushing to build a comprehensive, states-first approach to national energy policy. He has emphasized an all-of-the-above approach to development that will produce more energy from both traditional and renewable sources with better environmental stewardship. The senator is also a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and the Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee and worked to include support for agriculture-based renewable fuels in the energy title of Senate passed farm bill. He will serve on the joint Senate-House conference committee to finalize a long-term farm bill for American consumers and producers.

The Spiritwood Energy Park is a project that originated during Hoeven’s governorship under Empower North Dakota, the state’s first comprehensive energy plan, embracing both traditional and renewable energy resources. In addition to Spiritwood Station and the Dakota Spirit AgEnergy facility, a $1.4 billion fertilizer plant that is expected to create 150 permanent jobs by 2016, is planned for the park to take advantage of shared resources and infrastructure.