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  • In 1992, the State of Minnesota set a goal of replacing 10 percent of the state’s gasoline with domestically-produced ethanol.
  • The state built demand for oxygenated fuels by complying with the EPA Clean Air Act of 1992.
  • Minnesota started providing producer payment incentives for ethanol in the early 1990s.
  • From 1990-2002, state ethanol consumption rose from 20 million gallons to 240 million gallons, while in-state processing of corn to ethanol increased from 11 million gallons to 343 million gallons.
  • During the same period, the percentage of corn processed in the state went from 3 to almost 17 percent, primarily because more than 7000 farmers invested in ethanol cooperatives.
  • Today, almost all the gasoline sold in Minnesota is blended with ethanol, replacing 10 percent of petroleum.
  • Ethanol processing generates $587 million in economic activity annually and more than 2500 direct and indirect jobs.

Biomass-generated electricity:

  • Legislation requiring Xcel Energy to purchase 124 megawatts of natural resource-generated electricity passed in 1994 as part of a compromise to store spent nuclear fuel rods off-site.
  • Wind energy production has grown substantially in southwest Minnesota as a result of the state’s commitment to renewable energy.
  • A biomass electrical-generation facility, fueled by spent poultry litter, is being constructed in Benson.
  • Minnesota produces 466 megawatts of power from biomass power plants and anaerobic digesters. Currently, 34 facilities generate electricity using bio-based fuels.
  • Minnesota financial incentives encourages bioenergy use. The state provides 1.5 cents per kilowatt hour generated from anaerobic manure-methane digesters.
  • A digester on a 750-cow dairy in central Minnesota produces enough electricity to cover all the power needs for the farm and 75 additional homes.


  • AURI and the U.S. Bureau of Mines started biodiesel studies in 1990. Controlled research led to road testing in buses, snowplows and trucks. Positive test results and widespread production of oilseeds spurred biodiesel production in Minnesota.
  • In 2002, the state passed a biodiesel mandate that requires all diesel fuel sold in Minnesota contain 2 percent biodiesel by the year 2005.
  • Satisfying the mandate will require at least 8 million gallons of biodiesel.
  • Several Minnesota cooperatives are pursuing plans to build biodiesel production facilities.