Minnesota sets first public meetings on Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline

Summit Carbon Solutions says its carbon capture project will help ethanol plants lower their carbon scores. Hearings on the pipeline also are taking place in North Dakota.

The Green Plains ethanol plant at Fergus Falls, Minnesota.
Jeff Beach / Agweek

ST. PAUL — A series of meetings have been set on the Summit Carbon Solutions carbon capture pipeline application in Otter Tail and Wilkin counties in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has scheduled in-person meetings in Breckenridge and Fergus Falls and one online meeting in the first week of May.

The meeting schedule is:

May 2: 6 to 9 p.m. at Breckenridge High School in Wilkin County.

May 3: 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. at the Bigwood Event Center in Fergus Falls in Otter Tail County.


May 4: 6 to 9 p.m. online at . Those interested also can call-in to the meeting at 1-408-418-9388. The password is Commerce1.

Written comments on PUC Docket 22-422 can be sent to the PUC through May 18.

Otter Tail Wikin pipeline route.png
The proposed route of the Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline through Otter Tail and Wilkin counties in Minnesota. The liquid carbon dioxide would flow west into North Dakota.
Courtesy / Summit Carbon Solutions

Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions is seeking a permit on about 28 miles of hazardous liquid pipeline to connect the Green Plains ethanol plant to a five-state carbon capture network. The 2,000 mile pipeline project would connect 32 ethanol plants to an underground storage site west of Bismarck, North Dakota.

Summit says the pipeline would benefit the ethanol plants by lowering their carbon impact score and allowing those plants to sell into low-carbon fuel markets such as California. Summit says it would also benefit the farmers who sell corn to the ethanol plants.

Some landowners have been reluctant to sign an easement agreement with Summit, citing concerns about damage to crop production and lost property values.

While there are five other Minnesota plants signed onto the Summit pipeline project, Summit so far has only filed for a permit in the two west-central Minnesota counties. The proposed pipeline would cross into North Dakota south of Breckenridge.


The North Dakota Public Service Commission also has been holding a series of meetings on Summit’s application there.

At the most recent hearing on April 4 in Wahpeton, North Dakota, landowners raised concerns about not being able to get insurance on property that the hazardous liquid pipeline would cross.


Attorney Brian Jorde, who represents landowners resistant to the pipeline, spent part of the meeting asking Summit Chief Operating Officer Jimmy Powell who would own the carbon dioxide in the pipeline and about the ownership structure of Summit Carbon Solutions, which is related to Iowa-based Summit Agricultural Group.

Jimmy Powell, chief operating officer for Summit Carbon Solutions, testifies Tuesday, March 14, at the North Dakota Public Service Commission hearing for a proposed carbon pipeline project.
Darren Gibbins / Bismarck Tribune

Powell was advised by an attorney not to answer the carbon ownership question and did not provide details on the ownership.

During public testimony, Troy Mahler, whose parents would be affected by the pipeline near Gwinner, North Dakota, expressed frustration with a lack of information from Summit.

“We're supposed to trust the company. We're supposed to put our trust in you (the Public Service Commission.) But some of the most basic questions, nobody’s got any answers to,” he said.

The next public hearing in North Dakota will be at 9 a.m. May 9 at the Emmons County Courthouse in Linton.

A continuation of an earlier hearing at the Bismarck Heritage Center is set for 8:30 a.m. on June 2.

The first hearing in Bismarck focused largely on public safety . A hearing in Gwinner dealt more with the project’s effects on agriculture .

Summit also has permit applications pending in Iowa and South Dakota.

Reach Agweek reporter Jeff Beach at or call 701-451-5651.
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