Xcel Energy funds biomass, biogas energy projects

By Erin Voegele | March 14, 2014

Xcel Energy has announced that Minnesota regulators recently approved 29 renewable energy projects to receive $42 million in grants from Excel Energy’s Renewable Development Fund, including several bioenergy projects.

“The fund’s objective is to support development of new renewable energy technologies and renewable energy projects,” said Dave Sparby, president and CEO of Northern States Power Co.-Minnesota, an Xcel Energy company.

Bioenergy awards for energy production projects include:

Mondovi Energy Systems—$2 million was awarded to the Mondovi, Wis.-based company to install 2,000 kW of biomass capacity and deliver various community organic wastes from landfills to be converted to usable products that can offset waste management costs. 

SGE Partners LLC—$5 million was awarded to the South St. Paul, Minn.-based company to install 1,100 KW of biomass capacity at the Sanimax Industries facility by designing and constructing a commercial anaerobic digester and generator to convert biogas to electricity, which will demonstrate the viability of an urban biodigester utilizing nonagricultural residue.

Bioenergy awards for research and development projects include:

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis—$1,899,499 to develop a solid biofuel that has potential for direct, stand-in use at power generation facilities and develop distributed generation in rural environments using rural biomass as fuel.

The Renewable Development Fund money comes from Xcel Energy customers. Each year the company transfers $24.5 million into the fund in accordance with state law. An advisory board with representation from Xcel Energy, environmental groups, Xcel Energy customers and the Prairie Island Indian Community makes recommendations to the commission. All selected projects are subject to final approval by the commission.