You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Biofuel producer Poet debuts solar farm, leads sustainability efforts in Sioux Falls

Argus Leader (Sioux Falls) logo Argus Leader (Sioux Falls) 4 days ago Sonya Swink, Sioux Falls Argus Leader
Jeff Broin, CEO, and Rod Pierson, general manager and vice president of POET Design and Construction, cut a ribbon to celebrate the completion of a solar field on Wednesday, October 13, 2021, at the Poet headquarters in Sioux Falls. © Erin Bormett / Argus Leader Jeff Broin, CEO, and Rod Pierson, general manager and vice president of POET Design and Construction, cut a ribbon to celebrate the completion of a solar field on Wednesday, October 13, 2021, at the Poet headquarters in Sioux Falls.

One of the biggest companies in South Dakota is going green-er.

Biofuel producer Poet cut the ribbon on its first Solar Farm at its Sioux Falls headquarters Wednesday, part of a goal of making its business have zero impact on the climate.

Now, six solar panels that stand just next door to the Poet campus on the north side of the city will take in sunlight to power all its offices there, and even send any leftover electricity to area homes on the grid, according to the company.

The solar panels will offset hundreds of thousands of pounds of carbon emissions yearly.

More: Poet acquires major biofuel business, expands production capacity by 40%

Solar panels line a field on Wednesday, October 13, 2021, outside the Poet headquarters in Sioux Falls. © Erin Bormett / Argus Leader Solar panels line a field on Wednesday, October 13, 2021, outside the Poet headquarters in Sioux Falls.

The project is the largest solar project in the city, creating equal to the output of 90 homes.

Solar panels are just one way the company is leading efforts to make business sustainable and make products all carbon zero, or with no impact on climate change, by 2050. It also wants to create fully clean energy with its main product - biofuel.

“Biofuels use the solar panel of the leaf and the battery, which is the seeds of the biomass, to create energy that replaces fossil energy similar to what we’re doing with the solar panels,” CEO Jeff Broin told the Argus Leader on Wednesday. “Both technologies harvest the sun.”

In attendance were the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and most of Poet’s leaders. Poet aims to show other companies in Sioux Falls how they can partner on similar ideas, and states that usining natural resources is a must to re-evaluate “God’s gift to us above ground… because we’ve got to stop going below,” Broin said.

Since 2005, Poet has reduced its annual energy use by 18% and wants to make its biofuel and ethanol products, the main core of its business, clean in a series of steps over the next few decades.

More: Poet, the largest biofuel producer in US, pledges to be carbon neutral by 2050

Poet employees line the second floor lookout above the lobby as executives cut a ribbon to celebrate the completion of a solar field on Wednesday, October 13, 2021, at the Poet headquarters in Sioux Falls. © Erin Bormett / Argus Leader Poet employees line the second floor lookout above the lobby as executives cut a ribbon to celebrate the completion of a solar field on Wednesday, October 13, 2021, at the Poet headquarters in Sioux Falls.

“There are several pathways we can take to carbon neutrality that are detailed in the (sustainability) report," Broin said, noting that, "It will take (company as well as) government support to get there, but we feel it is very attainable by 2050.”

Poet produces bioethanol at 33 locations, making it a top energy company.

Bioethanol is an essential component of the 138-billion-gallon U.S. gasoline market and a portion of what scientists from MIT state is needed in multiple idea and solutions to stop the permanent effects of climate change.

This article originally appeared on Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Biofuel producer Poet debuts solar farm, leads sustainability efforts in Sioux Falls

AdChoices
AdChoices

More From Argus Leader (Sioux Falls)

Argus Leader (Sioux Falls)
Argus Leader (Sioux Falls)
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon