Iowa Power Fund off to a slow start

Former Iowa governor Chet Culver tours the labs at Iowa State University. Photo courtesy of Governor Chet Culver, Flickr.

The Iowa Power Fund, a program for renewable energy research created by former governor Chet Culver, has only spent a fraction of the planned $100 million in the five years since its creation, according to a review by the Associated Press.

The program was originally intended to help Iowa “become the silicon prairie of the Midwest” by investing in ethanol and wind energy to reduce pollution, reduce the state’s need for foreign oil, and create new jobs. However only $23 million has been spent so far, and many of the fund’s projects are still facing difficulties.

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Iowa Power Fund approves $4.1 Million investment for renewable energy

Photo by spanginator, Flickr

KCAU-TV reports that the Iowa Power Fund Board awarded $4.1 million to four renewable energy projects in Iowa. Since its inception, the Power Fund has invested over $69.4 million in energy-related projects. The newly funded projects will potentially lead to an increase in ethanol production, transform farm waste into useable energy, promote the use of solar panel technology, and determine if prairie biomass can be used for energy production.

Read a detailed description of the projects here:

  • Quad County Corn Processors received a grant of $1.45 million to construct a full-scale plant at its Galva, Iowa ethanol facility to demonstrate its patent pending cellulosic ethanol process. The process could be applied at existing corn starch ethanol plants to increase ethanol production, create a high-value protein feed product and recover more corn oil than a conventional ethanol plant. With commercial-scale demonstration, the project has the potential of replication at Iowa’s 35 dry-grind ethanol plants. Quad County Corn Processors will provide $5 million in funding for a total project cost of $6.5 million. Continue reading

On the Radio: At Green Plains ethanol plant, Shenandoah seeks an algae-powered Iowa

Photo: City of Shenandoah.

This week’s radio segment highlights some innovative research going on in the tiny city of Shenandoah – attempts to use algae for fuel.

But the experiment is just one of many of the town’s cutting-edge green efforts. The city has also installed more energy-efficient lighting in its downtown, and it received the first ever permit to construct and operate an air curtain incinerator that cleanly burns yard waste.   Continue reading