Company hopes to remove carbon dioxide from Glacial Lakes Energy ethanol

Efforts to remove carbon dioxide from the ethanol refining process could be coming to Glacial Lakes Energy and other major distillers across the Upper Midwest.

Codington County commissioners were briefed Tuesday by a representative of Summit Carbon Solutions, which intends to construct a system of pipelines that would carry liquid carbon dioxide to a storage facility 5,000 feet underground in North Dakota.

Summit Carbon Solutions was created last February by Summit Agricultural Group, a diversified agribusiness operator and investment manager with operations in the U.S. and Brazil.

Dan Lederman, a spokesman for Summit Carbon Solutions, said if completed, the project will remove 12 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and safety store it. The carbon dioxide would be liquified at the ethanol refineries and piped from each refinery to a main pipeline.

The feeder pipes would be 4- to 6-inches in diameter. The main trunk would be 20 inches, and in total the system would cover 45,000 miles.

Summit Carbon Solutions' goals are to not only remove a greenhouse gas but to also make ethanol a more attractive fuel. When it was first developed, creating the grain alcohol-based fuel created a large amount of carbon dioxide. It’s since been reduced, and Lederman said Summit Carbon Solutions wants the process to have zero carbon emissions.

Lederman claimed that if it proceeds as planned, the company will oversee the largest carbon sequestration project in the world and would remove the carbon dioxide equivalent that is produced annually by 2 million homes.

Summit Carbon Solutions' timeline is to clear permitting hurdles in 2022, begin installing hardware and pipe in 2023 and begin operations in 2024.

Series of expenses approved

The commissioners weren’t dressed in Santa Claus suits Tuesday, but they were in a giving mood, albeit approving already budgeted items. A rundown follows.

• Voted 5-0 to provide new software to the state’s attorney's office. The cost is $25,000 annually.

The previous software was $6,000 but is no longer being supported by its supplier. States Attorney Becky Morlock Reeves said the new software will be much better integrated into the different facets of her office, including the importing of body cam video from sheriff deputies. It will seamlessly incorporate data from the current software, she said.

• Voted 5-0 to purchase two $35,221 Dodge Durango Pursuit sport utility vehicles from Watertown Ford Chrysler. Sheriff Brad Howell said he could have bought through the state and saved $900 per vehicle, but he preferred to buy locally and won’t have to send three deputies to Pierre to pick up the vehicles.

• Voted 5-0 to purchase a $119,726 Freightliner dump truck for the highway department. Superintendent Rick Hartley said his department bought a similar model two years ago, and the new model is replacing one with 200,000 miles. He said there’s no guarantee the truck will arrive in 2022.

• Voted 5-0 to pay $21,352 to South Dakota State University for a county 4-H youth director. SDSU pays the rest of the director’s salary.

• Voted 5-0 to pay $14,509 for another year of community nursing services from the State of South Dakota Department of Health.

• Voted 5-0 to pay $9,333 for an annual contract with the U.S. Geological Survey for flood-monitoring stations in the county.

• Accepted the resignation of Lisa Feltch as public safety support tech in the sheriff’s office, and also moved to begin advertising for Feltch’s replacement.

Not enough housing from homeless in Watertown

During her monthly report County Welfare Director Sara Foust told commissioners that her office is not able to find housing for all county homeless people. She recently had to turn away one person and a couple.

Foust hopes that next month’s initial meeting of the newly-formed strategic planning group, which involves more than a dozen organizations, will better deal with many of the community’s social problems.

This article originally appeared on Watertown Public Opinion: Project would remove CO2 from ethanol at Glacial Lakes Energy