Rahr Corp. recently announced that it has purchased the outstanding 51 percent of Koda Energy from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC), and Koda is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Rahr. Rahr Malting Co. helped form Koda Energy LLC to develop a renewable energy combined heat and power plant right next to the company.
Located on Rahr’s Shakopee, Minn. site, Koda Energy LLC is an innovative combined heat and power plant generating electricity and heat utilizing agricultural, forestry and bio-material by-products. Considerably cleaner than a coal plant and with lower carbon emissions than fossil fuel plants, Koda is at the forefront of renewable energy within Minnesota as well as globally. It provides and sells heat and electricity to Rahr Malting, replacing natural gas.
The groundbreaking for Koda Energy took place September 13, 2007. The facility started generating electricity in March 2009 and became fully operational in late May 2009. In 2013, the facility was redesigned with improved safety and emissions-reduction features. The project name originated from the word “Koda” which means “friend” in the Dakota language.
“While the open market for renewable energy has changed, this facility still provides a clear benefit for our malting operations,” said Jeff Taylor CFO at Rahr Corp. “We are grateful for the SMSC’s partnership over the years and look forward to the continued use of this facility for our business.”
What exactly is Koda Energy?
Koda Energy is dedicated to developing environmentally friendly energy, while not harming a single dinosaur. Koda creates bioenergy, energy created by burning exclusively natural, organic materials. Through this, Koda is cleaner than a coal plant, and considered CO2 neutral. Here’s how it works. According to the Department of Energy: “Biomass is a versatile renewable energy source. It can be converted into liquid transportation fuels that are equivalent to fossil-based fuels, such as gasoline, jet, and diesel fuel. Bioenergy technologies enable the reuse of carbon from biomass and waste streams into reduced-emissions fuels for cars, trucks, jets and ships; bioproducts; and renewable power.” Example of biomass that gets used to create energy are crop wastes, forest residues, purpose-grown grasses, woody energy crops, microalgae, urban wood waste, and even food waste. Koda gets its biomass fuel from the unused byproducts of cereal grain processing, and recycled wood residues.
The energy created by Koda Energy goes into supplying all of Rahr’s heat and electricity to the Shakopee campus, with additional capacity available to sell into the public grid (this is sold to Xcel Energy). Everything from thermal power for the malt kilns to the electrical supply for the office comes from Koda’s biomass-powered suspension fired boiler (the first of its kind in the US, and only the second one in the world). Since Koda Energy relies on biomass to create energy, Rahr Malting can produce quality “fossil-free” malt. Electrostatic precipitators strip ionized soot and smudge from the burner exhaust, leaving clean vapor venting into the air. Thanks to this process, Rahr generates greenest available malt to brewers and distillers.