Considered the first of its kind in Iowa, the Community Advisory Panel (CAP) for the DuPont cellulosic biofuel facility held its first meeting Tuesday night (Oct. 8) at the SCORE Pavilion in Nevada.

Currently, the group is comprised of 35 community leaders, local producers and representatives of DuPont. The purpose of CAP is to promote ongoing dialogue between the surrounding community and DuPont throughout the construction process, and continuing after the facility is up and running in 2014. Meetings will be held on a quarterly basis, unless the group decides differently.

Mark Edelman, CAP facilitator, said involving stakeholders in CAP meetings will allow DuPont to address concerns as they arise.

"I’m glad it’s here and I’m glad we can all contribute," Edelman said.

Steven Mirshak, business director for cellulosic ethanol at DuPont, said the Nevada facility will be a strong contributor to local economic development. Construction is ongoing and the facility is expected to be producing ethanol by the fourth quarter of 2014.

"It’s a privilege to be a part of the community and I’m looking forward to working with CAP," Mirshak said.

During the meeting, Edelman went over the guidelines of CAP. DuPont representatives then gave an overview of the facility and the ethanol production process.

When completed, the facility will produce 30 million gallons of ethanol per year. The ethanol will be made from baled corn stover, harvested from fields in a 30-35 mile radius from the plant. The bales temporarily will be stored in stacks of 300 at the edge of the fields before being taken to long-term storage locations, said John Pieper, stover workstream leader. So far, DuPont has identified four long-term storage locations in Story County, but they are looking at additional ones, as well.

The Nevada DuPont site will be one of the first commercial-scale cellulosic biorefineries in the world.