Gevo says goodbye to fossil-based electricity at Luverne facility

By Gevo Inc. | March 12, 2020

Gevo Inc. and partners Juhl Energy and Harrison Street Investors held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completed construction of two wind turbines that will supply up to 5.0 MW of fully renewable electricity to Gevo subsidiary Agri-Energy’s production plant located in Luverne, Minnesota. The electricity generated from wind will be wired directly to Agri-Energy, which is expected to enable it to utilize the emissions-free energy towards a lower carbon intensity score under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard in California. The wind electricity is expected to be on-line and available to Agri-Energy in April.

In connection with the wind project, Agri-Energy invested $1.5 million in the Series A preferred stock of Juhl’s asset subsidiary Juhl Clean Energy Assets. Juhl, Harrison Street and other JCEA investors funded the remainder of the approximate $8.75 million project cost. Juhl will be the owner and operator of the wind project. Agri-Energy has agreed to purchase the electricity from the City of Luverne and will also purchase the Renewable Energy Credits associated with the wind project from an affiliate of Juhl.

“We are on a crusade to defossilize our business system, eliminating greenhouse gasses, and because of that, we expect to improve our margins,” said Patrick Gruber, CEO of Gevo. “The wind energy produced from these towers will help to take us off the fossil grid. It's a great first step, setting up our infrastructure for jet fuel and renewable gasoline.”

“This project is a great example of the local community and business working together to use renewable energy to increase its competitiveness,” said John Mitola, CEO of Juhl. “We applaud Gevo’s leadership and expect to see increasing interest from the biofuel industry in projects such as wind and other clean energy projects that we can assist with to lower carbon intensity.” 

“We are thrilled to expand our renewable energy investment footprint,” said Carolyn Arida, director and head of utilities of Harrison Street. “We look forward to our continued partnership with Juhl and Gevo, two companies that continue to innovate and lead with their decarbonization and sustainability efforts.”

A special thanks to all who have helped to make this project possible, including: local landowners, City of Luverne, Rock County, Faith Technologies, First Farmers and Merchants Bank, Missouri River Energy Services, and GE.