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Minnesota Renewable Energy Roundtable

The AURI Connects: Minnesota Renewable Energy Roundtable brings people together to learn, network and act on the challenges and opportunities in the area of renewable energy. Participants range from researchers and educators to business and industry leaders, including nonprofit and government representatives.


The mission of AURI Connects: Minnesota Renewable Energy Roundtable is to take action on immediate challenges and opportunities facing our state, region and nation using Minnesota’s assets.

Goals include:

  • Ensuring that Minnesota continues as a recognized leader in renewable energy knowledge, application and utilization.
  • Maintaining an implementation platform for moving short and long-term strategic action forward.


The participants of the roundtable represent more than 217 Minnesota organizations, agencies and businesses. While AURI serves as the coordinator and facilitator, more than 500 individuals have lent their insight to the ongoing effort of identifying challenges and priorities for advancing Minnesota’s renewable energy industry.

Partner organizations include:

  • University of Minnesota
  • Minnesota State
  • Minnesota Department of Commerce
  • Minnesota Department of Agriculture


Past events

October 23, 2019 Event

Below is the information for the October 23, 2019 event at Koda Energy LLC. Agenda  

Graphic depicting Concept for clean hydrogen energy

December 6, 2023 Event

  Slide deck 1 Slide deck 2 Slide deck 3 Slide deck 4 Theme: The Hydrogen Economy— Evolving Rural and Agricultural Opportunities This hybrid event focused on how emerging renewable hydrogen technologies can add value to the agricultural and biofuel industries as well as rural economies.

March 14, 2018 Event

Below is information from the event at the University Enterprise Laboratories in St. Paul, Minnesota. MNRER March 2018 Agenda Opportunities with NIFA Dr. Toby Ahrens, NIFA-USDA Sun Grant Initiative Dr. Vance Owens, with the SDSU Sun Grant Program Feedstock Development for Renewable Chemicals and Other Bioenergy Dr. Gregg Johnson, Southern Research and Outreach Center-Waseca, University… Continue Reading March 14, 2018 Event

August 23, 2017 Event

Below is information from the August 23, 2017 event at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Agenda Biofuels and Bioproducts from Wet and Gaseous Waste Streams: Challenges and Opportunities Mark Philbrick, U.S. Department of Energy Biomass Pretreatment at the Natural Resources Research Institute Donald R. Fosnacht, Ph.D. Renewable Energy Research in Minnesota Panel: Bruce Peterson, Minnesota… Continue Reading August 23, 2017 Event

October 27, 2016 event

Below is information from the October 27, 2016 event at Great River Energy, Maple Grove, Minnesota. Agenda Renewable Development Fund, Mark Ritter, Xcel Energy Minnesota Energy Center, Bruce Peterson, Minnesota Energy Center Resources to Advance Clean Energy, Fritz Ebinger, CERTS Alternative Energy Revolving Loan Program (Iowa), Bill Haman, Iowa Energy Center Nelson Engineering-Ideas made Ideal,… Continue Reading October 27, 2016 event

July 17, 2015 Event

Below are the presentations from the July 17, 2015 event in Rochester, Minnesota. Agenda Biomass Policy Opportunities Amanda Bilek Woody Biomass in Southeast Minnesota Mark Lindquist Producer Interest in Supplying Corn Stover Biomass: Southeast Minnesota Findings Joel Tallaksen The Economics of Biomass Combined Heat & Power David Ripplinger Gunderson Health Systems Alan Eber Integrating a Community Energy System with Renewable Biomass –… Continue Reading July 17, 2015 Event

November 3, 2015 event

Below are the presentations from the November 3, 2015 event in Morris, Minnesota. Agenda Biogas Policy Opportunities Amanda Bilek Monetizing Waste with Biogas Production Shashi Menon Feedstock Diversification through Innovation Ken Williams Renewable Energy from High Strength Wastewater Loren Larson

April 9, 2014 Event

Below are the presentations from the April 9, 2014 event in Grand Rapids. Agenda The Changing Landscape of Woody Biomass Utilization: Where Does Renewable Energy Fit? – Brian Brashaw Minnesota Forestry and Woody Biomass Availability – Kent Jacobson Bioeconomy Coalition- Norm Moody Minnesota Power Renewable Strategy – Matt Radzak Pretreatment of Biomass to Facilitate Its… Continue Reading April 9, 2014 Event

December 1, 2022 Event

Below are links to the PowerPoint presentations from the event Slide deck 1 Slide deck 2 Slide deck 3 Theme: Renewable Natural Gas from Biomass Feedstocks Using Anaerobic Digestion This event focused on renewable natural gas and anaerobic digestion.  Hear from knowledgeable speakers on innovative new work that is changing the landscape for renewable energy… Continue Reading December 1, 2022 Event

September 10, 2020 Event

Below is information from the September 10, 2020 virtual event. Agenda Economic Overview David Ripplinger, Ph.D. Associate Professor, North Dakota State University Governor’s Council on Biofuels Deputy Commissioner Andrea Vaubel,  Minnesota Department of Agriculture State of Biodiesel Industry Mike Youngerberg, Sr. Director of Product Development and Commercialization, MN Soybean Renewable Diesel Luca Zullo, Ph.D., VP of… Continue Reading September 10, 2020 Event

September 30, 2014 Event

Below are the presentations from the September 30, 2014 event in St. Paul. Agenda Humphrey School of Public Affairs Steve Kelley Ever Cat Fuels The Mcgyan® Process Next Generation Biodiesel David Wendorf Green Diesel and Renewable Jet: middle distillate bio-based fuel for agriculture and aviation Luca Zullo Converting Wet Biomass into Energy, Fuels, Fertilizer, and… Continue Reading September 30, 2014 Event

April 30, 2013 Event

Below are presentations from the event. Educating Business on Energy Efficiency in Ethanol Plants, Jason A. Cook, J. COOK Structural Engineering, LLC Thermal Conversion of Biomass, Joel Tallaksen, Ph.D., West Central Research and Outreach Center Growing Toward A Solution For Energy & Climate Challenges, Tim Rudnicki, Minnesota Biofuels Association Update on Grants, Kevin Hennessy, Minnesota… Continue Reading April 30, 2013 Event

October 24, 2013 Event

Below are presentations from the event: Fast Trac: Training for a Better Workforce in Southwest Minnesota, Pat Thomas, SW ABE Marshall Region University of Minnesota Morris: A Hybrid Renewable Energy Environment, Lowell Rasmussen, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Facilities (Related Video: Next Generation Environmental Congress) Rural Economics and Workforce Data, Cameron Macht, Regional Analyst–Central and Southwest… Continue Reading October 24, 2013 Event

March 16, 2012 Event

More than 70 people attended the Minnesota Renewable Energy Roundtable on Friday, March 16. Below are presentations and handouts from the event. Morning Session Documents The State of Renewable Energy in Minnesota 2012, Todd Taylor, Fredrikson & Byron Minnesota Innovation Partnership, Leza Besemann, University of Minnesota Minnesota Business First Stop, Kari Howe, Minnesota  Business First… Continue Reading March 16, 2012 Event

July 24, 2012 Event

More than 100 people attended the Minnesota Renewable Energy Roundtable on Tuesday, July 24. Below are presentations and handouts from the event. Innovation Cubed, Jim Bensen, Bemidji State University Biomass Heating Feasibility Guide, Daniel Lepp Friesen, DLF Consulting Commercialization of Reliable Syngas Production for Fuel & Chemical Synthesis, Duane Goetsch, SynGas Technology, LLC Distributed Ammonia… Continue Reading July 24, 2012 Event