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Sample project

Project files


Install and operate a commerical corn buring boiler at Central Lakes College Ag Center to demonstrate an alternative and renewable heat source. Corn produced at the Ag Center provides the fuel source.


  • Central Lakes College
  • Staples School District
  • Central Regional Clean Energy Resource Team
  • University of Minnesota Institute for Energy and the Environment


  • Research available commerical corn burning boilers
  • Install and begin operation of the boiler
  • Analyize ash residue for its potential use as a fertilizer
  • Conduct economic analysis comparing BTU cost, labor needs and equipment payback


  • One heating unit was installed at the Central Lakes Ag Center and operated successfully for two years
  • Locally grown corn is a viable fuel source for winter heating supply
  • Corn ash was used as a fertilizer on crops lands at the Ag Center
  • Adjusted cost per 100,000 Btu compares favorably to fossil fuel sources; howerver, costs per unit were higher than other sources, reflecting the increase in corn prices


$9,500 Regional Sustainable Development Partnership

Leveraged resources

  • Central Lakes College: $23,000
  • Staples School District: $20,000
  • IREE: $4,000
  • CERTS: $1,100
  • $12.00 inkind services and labor

This is the extended.

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