In southern Minnesota, and throughout the United States, there is much abuzz about alternative energy, especially corn grain or stover to ethanol. Farmers, governments, business and industry are quick to jump on the ethanol ‘train’ and perceive it to be the answer to rising energy prices. But corn requires excessive energy and water to grow and process compared to perennial crops. Rural Advantage and their partners have been developing a new paradigm, called “The Madelia Model”, to get people to think beyond ethanol and toward an alternative energy solution that can provide multiple benefits, including a more sustainable solution for rural communities economically, environmentally and socially.
The premise of the Madelia Model is that from a 25 mile radius around your community you can grow, or collect from natural or industrial sources, enough biomass to fuel your community and provide feedstock for bio-based processing. The model looks at being able to supply locally grown biomass which will provide a market for perennial crops [3rd crops] on the landscape, resulting in improved water quality plus creating jobs in rural areas. The energy crop we support is native grasses, which would provide additional ecological benefits such as clean water, carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas reductions, and improved wildlife habitat and diversity. The Madelia Project is a model for how we can do renewable energy, water quality improvements, and rural revitalization right.
- Rural Economic Development Concept
- The Madelia Project Flyer
- Madelia Bio-Based Eco-Industrial Assessment
- A Sustainable Vision
- 25 Mile Radius of Madelia
- Madelia Fuelshed
- Advancing the Madelia Model
- Madelia Renewable Energy Project [schematic of what is proposed at Madelia]
- Microwave Assisted Pyrolysis
Current status as of April 2012: