Bushmills Ethanol of Atwater partners with Summit Carbon Solutions to reduce carbon emissions

Bushmills Ethanol is the 32nd ethanol plant to officially join Summit Carbon Solutions’ transformative carbon capture and storage project.

Bushmills Ethanol Inc. plant
Bushmills Ethanol of Atwater has partnered with Summit Carbon Solutions to reduce its carbon footprint.
West Central Tribune file photo
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WILLMAR — Bushmills Ethanol of Atwater is partnering with Summit Carbon Solutions of Ames, Iowa to decarbonize its ethanol plant, according to a press release Friday from Summit Carbon Solutions.

“We are thrilled to have a progressive company such as Bushmills Ethanol as our newest partner,” said Jim Pirolli, chief commercial officer of Summit Carbon Solutions in the release. “We share a common vision of supporting the long-term sustainability of U.S. agriculture by decarbonizing the supply chain and products that are produced. Bushmills is an excellent operator, and has continually improved its plant through investments to reduce energy consumption and improve yields.”

Bushmills Ethanol began its operation in 2005, and currently produces 85 million gallons of fuel ethanol per year, according to the press release. It is the 32nd ethanol plant to officially join Summit Carbon Solutions’ transformative carbon capture and storage project.

Summit Carbon Solutions, joined by Granite Falls Energy, hosted meetings with landowners to negotiate easements for a proposed pipeline to carry carbon dioxide from the ethanol plant to North Dakota. The plant is among 31 ethanol plants in five states that are part of the proposed $4.5 billion project.

Summit Carbon Solutions met with landowners in Sacred Heart and Granite Falls on April 7 regarding the acquisition of land needed for pipeline construction for the Granite Falls Energy and Heron Lake Energy plants, which are also partnering with Summit Carbon Solutions.

The company has not yet announced a potential route from Bushmills in rural Atwater to connect to the proposed pipeline network.


In developing the largest carbon capture and storage project in the world, Summit Carbon Solutions is expected to have the capacity to capture and permanently store up to 12 million tons of carbon dioxide every year through all of its partnerships, according to the press release. Carbon dioxide from the ethanol plants will be compressed and transported via a pipeline to North Dakota for permanent geologic storage.

The partnership between Bushmills Ethanol and Summit Carbon Solutions is expected to capture more than 230,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

Proponents of the $4.5 billion pipeline project told participants of the meetings in Sacred Heart and Granite Falls the project is necessary in order for plants to remain competitive in a low-carbon future, and it is expected to cut the carbon footprint of affiliated ethanol plants in half.

In order for the project to take place, Summit Carbon Solutions must negotiate easements with thousands of individual landowners along the route of the pipeline. The company told landowners at the meetings in Granite Falls and Sacred Heart it is seeking a permanent, 50-foot-wide easement along its path and an additional 50-foot-wide, temporary easement during construction.

Landowners are being offered a starting price of 1.5 times the county’s average land value for the permanent easement, along with crop damages of 100% the first year, 80% the second, and 60% the third. The compensation would be provided upfront in a single payment.

Summit Carbon Solutions SKM_454e22040814021_0001 (1).jpg
The proposed route in Minnesota connects five ethanol plans with 152.91 miles of pipeline. Although Bushmills Ethanol has announced its intention to also join the pipeline effort, a route connecting it with this proposed route has not yet been determined

The pipeline project will span across Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota. Significant project milestones have recently taken place, including submission of pipeline permit applications in the states of Iowa and South Dakota, according to Summit Carbon Solutions.

It hopes to begin construction in a year.

More than $600 million of equity has been raised by the project, including recent investments from Continental Resources and Tiger Infrastructure Partners.


There has, however, been growing opposition to the proposed carbon pipeline's development and construction, especially in some parts of Iowa and North Dakota.

Related Topics: CARBON CAPTURE
Jennifer Kotila is a reporter for West Central Tribune of Willmar, Minnesota. She focuses on local government, specifically the City of Willmar, and business.

She can be reached via email at: or phone at 320-214-4339.
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