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Kevin Kokesch, utilities supervisor for the city of Franklin, checks the bin on the hot water boilers that are fueled by renewable energy pellets. The Minnesota Valley Alfalfa Producers continues to experiment and test different recipes for renewable energy pellets. Tribune photo by Tom Cherveny

Franklin, Minn., an unlikely biomass test kitchen

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The Minnesota Valley Alfalfa Producers are striving to concoct the right recipe for rural economic development and energy independence.

Their test kitchen is the small Renville County community of Franklin, population 475.

A system designed to use fuel pellets produced from farm-grown biomass is heating City Hall, the fire hall and a city shop building.

''The heat is wonderful,'' City Administrator Wendy Pederson said.

"We're very, very happy with it so far.''

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