This new program, established by the Minnesota Legislature in 2015, provides production payments to encourage commercial-scale production of advanced biofuels, renewable chemicals, and thermal energy production from biomass (see Minnesota Statutes, 41A.15, 41A.16, 41A.17, 41A.18, and 41A.19).
Production payments are available for three types of biomass-related products:
Advanced biofuel must meet the definition of the national Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program to be eligible for the production incentive. The RFS program states that renewable fuel, other than ethanol made from cornstarch, must improve greenhouse gas emissions over the petroleum-based fuel it replaces by at least 50%.
Chemicals must have content that is at least 51% biobased to be eligible for the production incentive. Renewable chemicals produced through processes that were fully commercial before January 1, 2000, are not eligible.
New or additional production of thermal energy obtained from biomass is eligible for the incentive program (“new or additional” means that the production was not in place before July 1, 2015.) Thermal energy production from biomass combustion, gasification, or anaerobic digestion qualifies for the incentive.
A company may enter any of these program categories any time before 2025, and may receive payments for a period of ten years. Minimum production levels are necessary for entry – see each category’s webpage for these and other details.