"After a successful equity drive held this summer we are now ready to start moving dirt," said Glacial Lakes Energy CEO Tom Branhan. "The ground breaking signifies that we are ready to move forward on becoming less dependent on foreign energy."
Glacial Lakes raised $95 million in three equity meetings held in Watertown, Ipswich and Vermillion. The equity drive was for Missouri Valley Renewable Energy, Aberdeen Energy, Madison Energy projects and an expansion at the Watertown plant. The ground breaking for Aberdeen Energy was held last month. Madison Energy is expected to start construction next spring.
Governor Mike Rounds and Senators Tim Johnson and John Thune will highlight the program. Also scheduled to speak will be leaders of the corn and ethanol industry. In addition, Callee Bauman, Miss South Dakota 2006, will be making an appearance.
"The groundbreaking is really a celebration for the community and the producers who have stepped up to make this project realty," said Craig Johnson, Vermillion area farmer and early Missouri Valley Renewable Energy supporter.
Soft drinks, coffee and cookies will served at the event that is open to the public.
Missouri Valley Renewable Energy is a 60 million gallon that is being developed by Glacial Lakes Corn Processors of Watertown. The plant will be located west of Vermillion near Meckling.
Glacial Lakes Corn Processors is a South Dakota cooperative with more than 3,700 members. Glacial Lakes currently has projects in Watertown, Granite Falls, MN, Redfield, Mina, Meckling and Madison, MN. When all projects are completed Glacial Lakes will be producing more than 400 million gallons of ethanol each year. More than 3,500 South Dakota families have invested in Glacial Lakes making it the largest farmer-owned ethanol project in South Dakota.