Gevo has closed on the purchase of approximately 245 acres near Lake Preston, South Dakota, for its first commercial-scale sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) facility, Net-Zero 1. We initially optioned the site for purchase in December of 2020, and we chose this site because it is very favorable for producing low-carbon SAF.
Gevo completed more than 18 months of due diligence at the site. By doing our homework, we expect to incorporate the following sustainable features and functions to the Net-Zero 1 facility:
- There is a good local market for the high-protein nutritional products that we expect to produce as part of our circular economy model.
- We are working to bring more sustainable agriculture methods to area feedstock producers, and this is expected to capture carbon from the atmosphere through photosynthesis and sequester it in the soil.
- From day one, the plan for Net-Zero 1 has been to build a windfarm to provide electricity to power our processes, and local wind conditions suggest abundant wind-generated power will be available.
- The windfarm is also expected to provide the electricity to power the electrolysis to make renewable hydrogen with no carbon intensity.
- Eliminating waste from our business system is expected to provide additional advantages: Retaining sugary residues from our fermentation outflow and recycling them in a digester is expected to allow us to produce biogas to provide thermal energy for our processes.
Capturing renewable energy and transforming it into SAF and other liquid hydrocarbon fuels is expected to enable the transformation of renewable energy and carbon, in the form of liquids, to anywhere it is needed. Our process is expected to do this on a net-zero GHG lifecycle basis when all the parts of the business system are counted. We expect that America will continue to lead the transition to renewable energy.
Gevo expects to break ground on the project in September of 2022, so keep an eye out next month for the formal announcement of a groundbreaking event for state and local representatives, and select members of the media. The associated wind-energy project that will provide electricity to the facility is in development. This project schedule is expected to allow us to begin delivery of initial volumes of SAF in 2025 to fulfill a portion of existing supply agreements. Net-Zero 1 is expected to produce 55 million gallons per year of SAF, or 62 million gallons per year of total hydrocarbon volumes.