Operating 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, the Highwater Ethanol plant in Lamberton, Minnesota produces 70 million US gallons per year of fuel grade ethanol from local grain feedstock, which helps reduce automotive emissions, and is a vital contributor to the regional rural economy.
Renewable Energy Strategy
Highwater was looking to evaluate their current electricity purchasing strategy to mitigate the rising cost of electricity - a major cost of production. In addition, the company was very interested in reducing the carbon content of every gallon of ethanol it produced and in shaping a more sustainable electricity management approach.
World Kinect conducted an Electric Supply Evaluation (ESE) together with our professional engineering provider and helped Highwater Ethanol formulate a more sustainable electricity management strategy through a combination of onsite audits and strategic assessment workshops.
World Kinect Solution
The ESE project provided a comparison of Highwater Ethanol’s current energy supply to a microgrid with Distributed Energy Resource (DER) solutions that are cost effective, clean, and resilient.
Highwater Ethanol was also provided with the economic viability and carbon footprint analysis of facility-operated Combined Heat & Power (CHP) systems currently in operation.
The DER technologies studied were solar photovoltaic (PV), wind turbines, CHP generators, peaking generators, and battery storage.
As applicable, the ESE also included available Federal incentive guidance.
Two electricity supply options were provided:
COSTS & ROI ANALYSIS
BIG POTENTIAL SAVINGS
Multiple DER solutions were developed, optimizing different criteria including maximizing economic value (NPV, ROI) over the project term and reducing CO2 and GHG emissions.
If the recommended approach is implemented, the Plant may also be able to utilize the suggested onsite generation to establish a full or partial onsite microgrid, allowing operation in “island mode” during a utility power outage.
Install a combination of CHP, solar and battery storage, projected to save $10.6M over 20 years, avoid 14K tons/year of carbon, and pay back in just over 4 years.
Install a combination of natural gas peak shaving generation, solar and battery storage, projected to save $15.6M over 20 years at an ROI of 28%, and with a simple payback of 3.3 years.
With in-depth situational analysis and prioritized recommendations, Highwater Ethanol gained a foundation on which to build their sustainable energy supply strategy.