I am happy to let you know that on February 12th, Koda Energy returned to full biomass-produced energy output.
As you know, we suspended operations following a fire on our property in April 2013. The cause of the fire was determined to most likely be an ember from a piece of equipment igniting a dust particle or wood chip, which ignited material in two of our silos. This determination helped inform our planning process as we began making decisions about our future operations.
Koda Energy and our owners – the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and Rahr Corporation – take great pride in providing environmentally friendly biomass energy for Xcel Energy as well as Rahr Corporation, which uses the residual heat from electricity generation in its malting process.
Our new design is horizontal with a lower-profile, two-story unloading and storage building connected to the existing fuel processing facility. The cost of the project was approximately $7 million. The new system’s benefits include:
- Improved safety
- Reduced particulate emissions
- Increased reliability
- More efficient fuel unloading
The type of fire we experienced in our previous facility could not occur under the new system, because the new one does not include silos, containment, or explosive concentrations of airborne dust; and it does feature infrared detectors that would help identify a potential ignition source before it could spread through the system.
Koda Energy employs 18 people, all of whom worked for us full-time before the fire and throughout our rebuilding phase. Koda will continue to burn a blend of agricultural and plant seed byproducts – such as wood chips, oat hulls, malt byproducts, sawdust, and ground-up wood pallets – and our output will remain the same.
There will be the same level of truck traffic into and out of the facility as before, but trucks idling outside the facility will be virtually eliminated.
Thank you for your patience as we have improved our facility and returned to operation. If you have any questions, please contact Rachael Taylor at 952-641-3611.
Stacy A. Cook
Vice President and General Manager
Koda Energy LLC