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State awards $3 million for energy and biofuel projects

Efforts to develop renewable energy and biofuels got a bump last week, when Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced that eight projects around the state will receive nearly $3 million in state grants awarded by the Next Generation Energy Board.

The board was established last year to develop energy and biofuels policy and make recommendations to the governor and Legislature on ways to efficiently achieve energy independence, agricultural and natural resources sustainability, and rural economic vitality.

Eight of the 28 proposals will receive state funds:

• Central Minnesota Ethanol Partnership, Little Falls, $910,000

• Chippewa Valley Ethanol Co., Benson, $700,000

• Rick Neuvirth Farm, Elkton, $220,000

• Northern Excellence Seed, Williams, $200,000

• Minnesota Valley Alfalfa Producers, Raymond – $400,000

• University of Minnesota Department of Forestry, St. Paul – $100,000

• Central Lakes College Ag Center, Wadena – $100,000

• University of Minnesota, Morris – $50,000

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