Evan Fagen – President & CEO
October 4, 2022
Chair Sieben, Vice Chair Sullivan, Commissioner Means, Commissioner Schuerger, and Commissioner Tuma,
Thank you for your ongoing work on the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.
My name is Evan Fagen. I am the President and CEO of Fagen Fabrication, which is located in Granite falls, Minnesota. Our company works on a wide range of industrial fabrication projects, including pipe fabrication, custom control panels, modular skids, custom fabrication, structural fabrication, and more. On all of our projects, we are committed to utilizing the highest quality standards in the industry, the most rigorous safety standards, and the latest and best technology and equipment.
I am writing today in support of the Summit Carbon Solutions project, a critical investment in the state’s ethanol and agricultural industries. As you may know, this project represents a total investment in Minnesota of more than $500 million. Those dollars will flow back to businesses across the state such as restaurants, hotels, hardware stores and local suppliers like Fagen Fabrication. In Yellow Medicine County alone (of which Granite Falls is the county seat) the company will invest more than $51 million. This is a significant sum for a community with a county-wide population of approximately 10,000. The Summit Carbon Solutions project will generate significant economic growth during the construction phase.
Once the project is in service, ethanol producers across the state, including locally based Granite Falls Energy, will be able to sell their product at a premium in the growing number of states and countries that have adopted low carbon fuel standards. The ability to sell into these markets is critical to the long-term viability of the industry, and it is essential if ethanol plants are to continue purchasing approximately half of the corn grown in the United States. My family has been a national leader in the growth of the ethanol industry. The company we established in 1988, Fagen, Inc., has constructed 60% of the ethanol production capacity in the United States. I believe, as many others do, that we need to proactively take the steps necessary to support critical industries like ethanol and agriculture. Summit Carbon Solutions was designed to accomplish that specific goal.
The Fagen Fabrication team is pleased to see Summit Carbon Solutions’ application with the PUC move forward. With more than 71,000 miles of pipelines in active service in Minnesota, we believe pipeline technology is reliable, safe, and proven. Given that, we hope the PUC will follow the usual processes for routing of the project and believe Minnesota Chapter 216G should guide the environmental review. Summit Carbon Solutions has spent more than a year meeting with elected officials, policymakers,
stakeholders, landowners, and more to highlight the benefits of the project while also answering questions and addressing concerns. As a Midwest-based company, I believe Summit has and will continue to be a good partner in the state and beyond.
Thank you for your consideration. I hope you will support Summit Carbon Solutions and other carbon capture, transportation, and storage projects here in Minnesota. If you have any questions or concerns about the project, please contact me at 320-564-5380.
President & CEO