Demonstration Sites

Want a Tour?  

To request a tour, please select the title "Want a Tour?" above to download an email request form.  Thank you.

GRE: Trash to RDF  

At Great River Eneregy’s (GRE) Elk River Resource Processing Plant, your everyday trash is hauled from the curb and turned into burnable fuel, or resource derived fuel (RDF). GRE sorts out recyclable metals and shreds material which is then taken to GRE’s Elk River Energy Recovery Station. Click the “GRE: Trash to RDF” title above for a video explaining the process. 

GRE: RDF to Electric            

At Great River Energy’s (GRE) Elk River Energy Recovery Station, RDF is burned to produce up to 29 MW of electricity, which keeps out 1,000 tons of landfilled waste a day. Click the “GRE: RDF to Electric” title above for a video explaining the process. 

Landfill Gas to Electric               

At the Elk River Landfill, Sherburne County, Elk River Municipal Utilities, and Waste Management have partnered to use methane gas produced from the decomposing landfill to fuel 4 electric generators. The generators produce enough energy to power 15% of Elk River’s population. Click the “Landfill Gas to Electric” title above for a video explaining the process. 

Wind Energy Project  

The Vestas V47 was constructed in 2001 as a demonstration site for Energy City. The 213-ft high wind turbine produces 660 kW which supplies enough energy for 100 homes. Click the “Wind Energy Project” title above to learn more.

Haubenschild Farms              

Haubenschild Farms Inc. is a nearly 2000 dairy cattle farm using a digester to create methane gas from cow manure to power a generator for their farm plus 75 homes. The farm aims to be earth-neutral.

Elk River Library             

The Elk River Library provides print and media to the community in a Gold LEED certified building using geothermal heating and cooling and other sustainable building design techniques. 

LEED Certified Schools                 

Westwood Elementary School: Completed in 2003, Westwood Elementary school was the first school in Minnesota to be LEED-certified. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System is a voluntary national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. Annual energy costs at the school are 50% less than the average costs of a school that size. 

Twin Lakes Elementary School: Completed in 2007, Twin Lakes Elementary school was the first school in Minnesota to achieve Gold LEED-certification. Again, the school saves 50% of its energy costs compared to a school of comparable size.