Brightmark’s plans for Benson Power site progressing

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Bob Powell, CEO Brightmark Energy, was in Benson last week to meet with city officials and citizens of the community.
BME is working to finalize engineering, technical, legislative, and financial issues as it moves forward with plans to build a biogas facility on the former Benson Power and Fibrominn site west of Benson.

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Brightmark Energy CEO Bob Powell was in Benson for a couple days last week meeting with city staff and a group of area business people as the California company’s plans for development of the former Benson Power (Fibrominn) site progress.

Brightmark Energy (BME) is pursuing the possible construction of an anaerobic digestion facility that would break down dairy manure into methane gases from which renewable natural gas is then created. Other sources of biomass could include poultry manure, sugar beet waste, and other products.

Its initial investment is estimated at around $50 million with the potential for an additional $150 million if it expands to a second phase.

Benson is buying the former Fibrominn site from Xcel Energy for $1.7 million. Based on an appraisal of the property, the buildings the city is buying are valued at $600,000 with the 77-acre site valued at $1.1 million.

Before the purchase takes place, Xcel will tear down the generation building, the stack, and other structures on the site that BME doesn’t plan on using to four feet below grade. BME has expressed an interest in the fuel hall, administration building, the truck washing facilities, scale and road infrastructure.

Demolition work is to start this spring with the city’s purchase of the site taking place later this summer. However, the city plans on owning the property for a few moments as it turns around and signs it over to BME if all the pieces needed for it to move forward with construction fall into place.

Signing the purchase agreement means submitting a down payment of $340,000. However, the city is expecting a payment of $450,000 through power purchase agreements it has with Missouri River Energy Services. It is a supplier of electricity to the city.

At its meeting Monday night, the council gave the second reading of a purchase agreement for the property, finalizing its approval. Representatives of the City of Benson have been exploring options for Brightmark Energy locating at the former Fibrominn power plant site since the fall of 2017....

 

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Pictured, top: Bob Powell, CEO Brightmark Energy, was in Benson last week to meet with city officials and citizens of the community.

Pictured, bottom: BME is working to finalize engineering, technical, legislative, and financial issues as it moves forward with plans to build a biogas facility on the former Benson Power and Fibrominn site west of Benson.

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