Koda Energy biomass power plant nears start-up

By Anna Austin
Web exclusive posted Jan. 15, 2009, at 5:39 p.m. CST

Minnesota-based Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is nearly finished testing its $60 million biomass power facility Koda Energy LLC, which is scheduled to be fully operational by mid-February.

The facility, which is located at the Rahr Malting Co. campus in Shakopee, Minn., is a joint venture between Rahr and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.

In preparation for the start-up, Koda Energy performed a "steam blow," which is a process that removes any contamination from the facility's piping by releasing steam through the pipes and then out a diverter pipe before reaching the turbine blades.

Shakopee Mdewakanton said the steam blow is still ongoing, but nearing completion. The facility will run on 100 percent biomass in a McBurney high pressure biomass boiler, to generate 24 megawatts of electricity per hour, which will power the Rahr Malting Co. plant and be sold to Xcel Energy.

Firing up of the boiler on natural gas is expected shortly, after which Koda Energy will begin burning biomass. Initially, the facility will utilize a single fuel source-oat hulls from a General Mill's cereal processing plant. After fine tuning the equipment, Koda Energy plans to add other feedstocks "to make the perfect recipe."

Koda Energy told Biomass Magazine that one truck of oat hulls from General Mills has been delivered; five additional trucks were expected within the week.

To learn more about the project, read "Koda Biomass facility to begin final testing."