Epitome Energy reaches $1M escrow threshold

Mike Christopherson
Crookston Times

    The Epitome Energy soybean crush and biofuel facility proposed for construction on 60 acres of land on Crookston’s southern edge has “broke escrow,” a $1 million threshold established as a milestone in the development’s equity drive.

    Epitome Energy founder and CEO Dennis Egan sent out a release announcing that the escrow milestone had been achieved. The Times followed up with Egan to see what breaking escrow means to the development proposal.

    “A key part of this is the initial work we are doing to make sure there is a realistic path for us to secure permits and other financing that we will need to keep the project moving forward,” Egan explained. “To accomplish this, we created an escrow account as a way to allow us to do this work while also limiting risks for our existing investors. It was our commitment to prove viability for the next phase of the project.

    “We are pleased to announce that this key phase of work has been successful. Based on the work we have completed; we now are able to finish the needed engineering and air modeling analysis that will allow us to move forward with air permitting and our environmental assessment worksheet submittal for MPCA,” he added.

    The 42-million bushel crushing facility will include an option for additional acres if necessary, Egan stated. When operating, he says Epitome Energy will increase the value of northwest Minnesota soybeans by as much as 20 cents per bushel.

    With the escrow threshold met, Egan said Epitome Energy will soon submit air permits and their Environmental Assessment Worksheet to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency within the coming weeks.

    Epitome Energy’s Advisory Board is comprised of Larry Altringer, Gary Bridgeford, Leon Kremeier, Curt Knutson, Mike Skaug (who also chairs the Ag Innovation Campus board), Ryan Skaug, John Swanson, Gary Wagner, Dave Zavoral, Bill Zurn and Eric Zurn.

    “For Polk County growers like myself, this facility will be a game-changer for generations of producers throughout the region,” says Ryan Skaug, who farms in Beltrami. “The advisory board is eager to do everything we can to keep the project moving forward to uplift rural economies in Minnesota.”