Renewable Energy Projects

Current and Recent Sponsored Projects:

Agricultural Weed Control Using Autonomous Mowers

  • Sponsor:  MN LCCMR / Environmental Trust Fund
  • Award Amount:  $750,000
  • Principle Investigator:  Eric Buchanan
  • Start Date:  July 1, 2018

Small-Scale Ammonia Synthesis Using Stranded Wind Energy

  • Sponsor:  U.S. Department of Energy ARPA-E REFUEL Program
  • Award Amount:  $2.9 Million
  • Principle Investigator:  Alon McCormick, U of MN Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Material Science
  • Co-PI:  Ed Cussler, Prodromos Daoutidis, and Paul Dauenhauer (U of MN Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Material Science), Larry Micek (U of MN Office of Technology Commercialization), Michael Reese (U of MN WCROC), Mary Biddy and Michael Resch (National Renewable Energy Lab), Kathy Ayers (Proton OnSite)
  • Start / End Date:  July 10, 2017 through July 9, 2019

Solar Energy Utilization for Minnesota Swine Farms – Phase 2

  • Sponsor:  MN LCCMR / Environmental Trust Fund
  • Award Amount:  $475,000
  • Principle Investigator:  Dr. Lee Johnston
  • Co-PI:   Dr. Larry Jacobson, Michael Reese, and Eric Buchanan
  • Start / End Date:  July 1, 2016  through June 30, 2019

Enabling Hydrogen-Fueled Vehicles using Renewable Ammonia

  • Sponsor:  MN LCCMR / Environmental Trust Fund
  • Award Amount:  $250,000
  • Principle Investigator:  Dr. Will Northrup, U of MN Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
  • Co-PI:   Michael Reese
  • Start / End Date:  July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2019

Optimizing Renewable Electric Generation on Minnesota Dairy Farms

  • Sponsor:  Xcel RDF
  • Award Amount:  $982,408
  • Principle Investigator:  Michael Reese
  • Co-PI:  Dr. Brad Heins, Dr. Lee Johnston, Dr. Larry Jacobson, Dr. Joel Tallaksen, and Eric Buchanan
  • Start / End Date:  September 1, 2015 through June 1, 2018

Renewable and Sustainable Fertilizers Produced Locally

  • Sponsor: MN LCCMR / Environmental Trust Fund
  • Award Amount: $1 million
  • Principle Investigator: Alon McCormick
  • Co-PI: Reese, Tiffany, Ruan, Cussler, Kelley, Schmidt
  • Start / End Date: July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2018

Transitioning Minnesota Farms to Clean Energy

  • Sponsor: MN LCCMR / Environmental Trust Fund
  • Award Amount: $500,000
  • Principle Investigator: Mike Reese
  • Co-PI: Dr. Lee Johnston, Dr. Larry Jacobson, Dr. Joel Tallaksen, and Eric Buchanan
  • Start / End Date: July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2017

The Green Nutrient Revolution: Development of Renewable and Sustainable Fertilizers

  • Sponsor: MnDRIVE
  • Award Amount: $500,000
  • Principle Investigator: Mike Reese
  • Co-PI: McCormick, Tiffany, Ruan, Cussler, Kelley, Schmidt
  • Start / End Date: July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2017

Life Cycle Energy of Renewably Produced Nitrogen Fertilizers

  • Sponsor: MN LCCMR / Environmental Trust Fund
  • Award Amount: $250,000
  • Principle Investigator: Dr. Joel Tallaksen
  • Co-PI: Dr. Christian Hulteberg, Lund University, Sweden and Dr. Serina Ahlgren (Swedish Agricultural University, Uppsala, SE)
  • Start / End Date: October 1, 2014 through December 31, 2015

Integration of Renewable Energy Technologies to 'Green' Energy Consumed in Dairy and Swine Production Systems

  • Sponsor: U of MN and MN Agricultural Rapid Ag Response Fund
  • Award Amount: $167,061
  • Principle Investigator: Dr. Brad Heins
  • Co-PI: Dr. Lee Johnston, Dr. Larry Jacobson, Dr. Joel Tallaksen, Eric Buchanan, Mike Reese
  • Start / End Date: July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2015

Integration of Renewable and Efficient Energy Technologies to 'Green' Energy Consumed in Agricultural Production Systems

  • Sponsor: IREE 
  • Award Amount: $350,000
  • Principle Investigator: Mike Reese
  • Co-PI: Dr. Brad Heins, Dr. Lee Johnston, Dr. Larry Jacobson, Dr. Joel Tallaksen, Eric Buchanan, Dr. Arne Kildegaard, Dr. Prodromos Daoutidis, Dr. Laura Kalambokidis
  • Start / End Date: January 1, 2013 through June 30, 2015

Macro-Life Cycle Assessment of Using Wind Energy for the Production of Liquid Ammonia (NH3)

  • Sponsor: Private multinational corporation (original equipment manufacturer)
  • Award Amount: $97,171
  • Principle Investigator: Dr. Joel Tallaksen
  • Start / End Date: April 1, 2012 through March 30, 2014

Development and Validation of Biomass Cropping Management Tools for Sustainable Harvesting of Energy Production Feedstocks

  • Sponsor: Xcel Energy Renewable Development Fund
  • Award Amount: $980,000
  • Principle and Co-Investigator: Mike Reese and Joel Tallaksen
  • Major Partners: Jane Johnson (USDA North Central Soils Conservation Research Lab), Jeffrey Strock (U of MN SWROC), Deborah Allan (U of MN Dept of Soil,Climate, and Water), and WCROC
  • Start / End Date: October 22, 2008 through January 22, 2013 (Extended to Sept 2013)

Regional Biomass Feedstock Partnership

  • Sponsor: SDSU Sun Grant via US DOT
  • Award Amount: $141,000
  • Principle and Co-Investigator: Lowell Rasmussen and Mike Reese
  • Major Partners (Sub-award): UMM, USDA North Central Soils Conservation Research Lab, WCROC
  • Start / End Date: October 1, 2007 through September 30, 2011 (Extended to Sept 2013)

State of MN and University funding for Renewable Hydrogen and Ammonia Pilot Plant

  • State Bond: $2.5 million
  • CFANS Funding: $430,000 (including $150,000 from WCROC Renewable Energy Program)
  • Final completion Summer 2013

Development and Evaluation of Novel Small-Scale Ammonia Production Systems

  • Sponsor: Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council with IREE 20% Match
  • Award Amount: $144,000 total with IREE Match
  • Principle Investigator: Mike Reese
  • Major Partner: Dr. Roger Ruan, Co-Investigator
  • Start / End Date: June 15, 2011 through June 30, 2013

Ag Producer Biomass Feedstock Survey

  • Sponsor: Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council with IREE 20% Match
  • Award Amount: $40,000
  • Principle Investigator: Joel Tallaksen
  • Major Partner: AURI
  • Start / End Date: July 1, 2011 through July 1, 2013 (Completed)

Development and Testing of Distributed Ammonia Production Using Wind Energy

  • Sponsor: IREE (Special Opportunity Grant)
  • Award Amount: $400,000
  • Principle Investigators: Dr. Alon McCormick
  • Co-PI: Dr. Ed Cussler, Dr. Roger Ruan, Doug Tiffany, and Mike Reese
  • Start / End Date: November 1, 2011 through December 31, 2013

Sustainable Nitrogen Fertilizers Based on Renewable Resources

  • Sponsor: Swedish Energy Agency
  • Award Amount: $37,892
  • Principle Investigator: Dr. Serina Ahlgren (Swedish Agricultural University, Uppsala, SE)
  • Co-PI: Dr. Christian Hulteberg, Lund University, Sweden and Dr. Joel Tallaksen
  • Start / End Date: October 1, 2012 through December 31, 2013

Evaluation and Demonstration of Small-Scale Renewable Energy Systems for Homes and Businesses

  • Sponsor: U of MN IREE via MN Dept of Commerce
  • Award Amount: $304,790
  • Principle Investigator: Mike Reese
  • Major Partner: UMM
  • Start / End Date: April 1, 2009 through March 31, 2012 extended to June - Completed

Economic Evaluation of Local Ammonia Production from Renewable and Other Energy Sources

  • Sponsor: Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council with IREE 20% Match
  • Award Amount: $33,057 total with IREE Match
  • Principle Investigator: Mike Reese
  • Major Partner: Doug Tiffany, Co-Investigator
  • Start / End Date: July 1, 2011 through July 1, 2012 (Extended)

Biomass Gasification: A Comprehensive Demonstration of a Community-Scale Biomass Energy System

  • Sponsor: USDA / DOE Biomass Research and Development Initiative
  • Award amount: $1.89 million
  • Principle Investigator: Lowell Rasmussen, UMM
  • Major Partners: UMM, USDA North Central Soils Conservation Research Lab
  • WCROC Role: Mike Reese, Project Manager and Joel Tallaksen, Project Coordinator
  • Start / End Date: February 3, 2006 through March 22, 2011
  • Final report has been submitted - Completed

Improving Handling Characteristics of Herbaceous Biomass

  • Sponsor: SDSU Sun Grant via US DOT
  • Award Amount: $90,708
  • Principle Investigator: Vance Morey, U of MN Dept of Bioproducts and Biosystems Eng.
  • Major Partners: UMM, WCROC, U of MN Dept of Bioproducts and Biosystems Eng., and Bepex Inc.
  • Start / End Date: June 1, 2009 through September 30, 2011 (Completed)

Wind to Hydrogen Demonstration

  • Award Amount: $800,000
  • Principle Investigator: Mike Reese
  • Major Partner: None
  • Final Acceptance of Report in September 2010 - Completed

Modeling Cost of Production of Nitrogen Fertilizer from Wind Energy

  • Sponsor: U of MN IREE via MN Dept of Commerce
  • Award Amount: $77,606
  • Principle Investigator: Mike Reese
  • Major Partner: None
  • Start / End Date: Completed

State of MN Capital Bond

  • $350,000 for solar test facility at WCROC – Completed