A co-op group from Burlington is looking at Grinnell as a possible location for a new 100-million-gallon-a-year ethanol plant. Bill Menner, director of Poweshiek Iowa Development, says they like the location, Menner says, because it’s about fifty miles from three OTHER ethanol plants. He says in the ethanol business, that’s the perfect place to be.

They also found a grain surplus in Poweshiek County, just the supply of corn they need to make 100-gallons of ethanol a year. One thing that may be a deciding factor is whether the plant can get enough water to meet its production needs. It’d take about a million gallons of water a day, about twice what Grinnell currently uses, and has the city talking about whether it would be able to supply that much.

Other issues being discussed are electric and natural gas capacity and transportation. With all sorts of conversations like that going on, Menner says “it’s fair to say that everyone’s exploring the possibility.” Menner says the status of the project is exploratory.