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Stranded Wind Initiative working on fertilizer project

By Staff | Mar 21, 2008

So what does wind power have to do with fertilizer?

A lot, according to Neil Rauhauser of Stranded Wind Initiative.

Rauhauser was on hand during Sen. Charles Grassley’s appearance at the Estherville Rotary Thursday to ask for continued support for wind energy tax credits that will end in 2008 unless they’re continued. It was Grassley who pioneered the tax credit in 1992.

Grassley pledged to see that the tax credits continue.

What Rauhauser is working on, along with Steve Gruhn, president of Freedom Fertilizer of Spirit Lake, is a wind-powered ammonia fertilizer plant east of Graettinger.

“We could entirely free the Iowa crop from the cost of inputs”, or the high cost of making fertilizer with natural gas, Rauhauser said.

Rauhauser would use a 90-year-old Haberbosch process to produce the fertilizer. He hopes to make the fertilizer plant locally owned and operated.

He is asking farmers to put up $100,000 and the federal government a matching $100,000 to start up the plant.