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Morris Renewable Energy Center gets statewide notice

By Carol Stender

cstender@agrinews.com

MORRIS, Minn. -- It was a week to celebrate renewable energy at the University of Minnesota Renewable Energy Research and Demonstration Center at Morris last week.

The center hosted the Upper Midwest Hydrogen Council meeting April 21 and, the next day, Earth Day, dedicated its wind turbine with Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty in attendance.

"Our objective through the events was to promote renewable energy," said Mike Reese, coordinator of the center.

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Organizers didn't just want to promote renewable energy but also show that west central Minnesota is taking action to make it a reality, Reese said. Western Minnesota is a leader in its efforts which includes ethanol, a wind turbine, recently constructed, which will produce hydrogen power, and biomass gasification. The biomass gasification plant received funding in the state's recently passed bonding bill.

The enter is important to rural areas, Reese said.

"It's important to have because we want to have this be a community development and provide people here with jobs so the young people won't leave but will have opportunities for jobs here in rural Minnesota."

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