Flint Hills Resources LLC is looking to build a 30-MW solar farm at its Pine Bend refinery in Rosemount, Minnesota.
The company, a subsidiary of Koch Industries Inc, said on Tuesday it has sought bids for the construction of the facility from select solar companies and expects to make a decision on whether to go ahead with the project by the middle of this year.
The solar power plant would be developed on farmland owned by the company, located west of the refinery. It would complement a recently commissioned 50-MW combined heat and power (CHP) plant, which supplies power for about 40% of the refinery's daily operations. Under optimal conditions, the solar farm and the CHP plant could meet more than 50% of the refinery's daily electricity requirement, estimates the company.
"Continually improving our energy efficiency and reducing our energy costs are critical to our ability to remain competitive," said Flint Hills Resources plant manager and vice president of operations Geoff Glasrud.
The project would also aid the company in further lowering its emissions. According to the announcement, the Pine Bend refinery's emissions per barrel are some 20% lower than these of other US refineries.