Gevo, maker of biofuel for jets, adding South Dakota plant to Summit Carbon pipeline

Gevo will be making sustainable aviation fuel in Lake Preston, South Dakota. Summit Carbon Solutions plans to capture carbon emissions from the facility.

Colorado-based Gevo will be making renewable jet fuel in South Dakota.
Courtesy / Pixabay

LAKE PRESTON, S.D. — A renewable jet fuel plant under construction in South Dakota has signed on to the Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline project.

Colorado-based Gevo broke ground on its $800 million Net-Zero 1 plant to make jet fuel from corn at Lake Preston in September 2022 and Summit released a statement to Agweek that Gevo has signed on as a partner.

A project update from Gevo in January said the plant is on schedule to startup in 2025 . It will produce about 55 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel annually and a total 65 million gallons of fuel per year, according to Gevo.

A wind-energy project is being developed to provide electricity to the 245 acre site, which also will produce green hydrogen from water and renewable natural gas. When it’s up and running, the facility will have about 90 full-time employees.

GEVO rendering.jpeg
A rendering of Gevo's sustainable aviation fuel facility that is under construction at Lake Preston, South Dakota.
Courtesy / Gevo

Gevo also operates a biofuels plant at Laverne, Minnesota, and is working on a manure-to-energy project in northwest Iowa. It received $30 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in September for its work on sustainable aviation fuel.


Gevo says there is enough demand for its jet fuel that it is looking for another site to build a facility like the one at Lake Preston.

Summit Carbon Solutions says it will provide Gevo with the same services as its 32 ethanol plant partners — gathering carbon dioxide emissions and piping it to western North Dakota for underground storage.

“We love the progress that Summit is making," Pat Gruber, Gevo CEO said in a written statement. "We see the great potential of biogenic carbon and its capture and sequestration. We love the optionality it gives us to drive carbon intensity scores negative.”

Summit describes its $4.5 billion Midwest Carbon Express pipeline as the world’s largest carbon capture pipeline, with 2,000 miles of pipeline in five states — Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

The Gevo plant is not part of Summit’s pipeline permit application with the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. Hearings before the PUC are scheduled for September.

A map of the Summit Carbon Solutions proposed pipeline route through South Dakota.
Summit Carbon Solutions proposed pipeline route through South Dakota.
Summit Carbon Solutions

The pipeline is planned to run through Kingsbury County, which includes Lake Preston.

Iowa-based Summit has yet to obtain permits in any of the five states but hopes to be operational in 2024.

Summits says the pipeline will benefit ethanol and corn growers, allowing biofuels to be sold for a premium in low-carbon fuel markets.


The project has proven to be controversial, with landowners concerned about the use of eminent domain to obtain right-of-way, as well as worries about lost crop production and property values, as well as the safety of the hazardous materials pipeline.

At a December PUC meeting, Brian Jorde, an attorney for landowners, estimated there were about 70 lawsuits involving Summit and landowners in South Dakota alone. Summit also has sued four South Dakota counties , accusing them of overstepping their authority related to carbon capture pipelines.

There also are several bills introduced in the South Dakota Legislature that would make it more difficult to build a carbon capture pipeline.

Reach Jeff Beach at or call 701-451-5651 (work) or 859-420-1177.
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