Construction of $30M energy plant begins in SW Minn.by Mark Steil, Minnesota Public Radio
WORTHINGTON, Minn. — Minnesota Municipal Power Agency has started construction on a $30 million renewable energy plant in Le Sueur, 50 miles southwest of the Twin Cities.
The plant should be operating in about a year, said project director Kelsey Dahlen.
Dahlen said an anaerobic digester will turn the waste into gas, which will be burned to power electrical generators. Some citizens in Le Sueur are opposed the eight-megawatt project over concerns the plant will cause odor and traffic problems.
"This facility is designed to collect agricultural and food processing waste to produce that renewable source of electricity," Dahlen said. "And then that power is used locally on the Le Sueur's power system."
The plant's electricity will go directly into Le Sueur's power grid. The facility will help MMPA reach a state mandate that a quarter of the agency's electricity comes from renewable sources by 2025.
"It means jobs, reliable green energy and economic development," Dahlen said.
About 100 construction jobs associated with building the $30 million plant," Dahlen said. When operational, the plant will employ about half a dozen workers.