Ace Ethanol, Wisconsin's first large-scale corn ethanol production facility, announced a partnership Friday with Sweetwater Energy of Rochester, N.Y., to generate cellulosic ethanol at Ace's plant in Stanley for up to 16 years.
The contract, which has a potential value of more than $100 million, calls for Sweetwater to convert locally available non-food biomass such as crop residues, energy crops and woody biomass into fermentable sugar, which Ace will ferment into ethanol.
"Ace Ethanol has been bench testing Sweetwater's cellulosic material for some time and we're confident that this project will be commercially profitable," said Neal Kemmet, president of Ace Ethanol. "With Sweetwater, we'll move from 100 percent corn to a combination of corn starch and 7 percent cellulosic sugar as our feedstocks."
The agreement calls for Sweetwater to place one of its cellulosic facilities adjacent to the Ace Ethanol site, and deliver enough refined sugar for Ace to produce up to 3.6 million gallons of ethanol per year during the initial phase of the relationship.