UNDERWOOD, N.D. (KXNET) — North Dakota is continuing to pave the way for clean energy innovation.

Harvestone celebrated a big milestone in its Vision Carbon ZERO movement, and KX News visited the Blue Flint Ethanol plant to find out more.

Harvestone’s carbon capture and storage facility has been operational for less than a week.

“Harvestone, today, we’re going to celebrate. Let’s go,” said Harvestone’s Executive Vice President Adam Dunlop.

Harvestone is celebrating another big achievement in hopes of reducing carbon emissions in North Dakota.

It comes with a big investment: over $6.5 million in grants from the state of North Dakota, and $66 million in private investments. That means the Blue Flint ethanol plant near Underwood will take carbon dioxide from its ethanol production plant and inject it into the ground.

The facility is one of only three in the nation and has the potential to store up to 43,000 cars worth of carbon emissions per year.

As one of the first in the field, Harvestone’s project is now something that the entire nation is looking to as an example.

“The entire industry, we tip our hard hat off to you,” said Growth Energy’s CEO Emily Skor. “We’re watching, we’re excited, we need this kind of good news.”

Because the concept is so new, the carbon injection process has brought about concerns regarding the project’s safety. However, CEO Jeff Zueger says Harvestone has undergone years of research and permitting.

“The diligence by which the North Dakota DMR, the EPA, and others that go about permitting these projects and processes is very rigorous to ensure that there’s very, very low probability of any sort of unexpected event,” Zueger said.

Zueger also says, that in addition to reducing carbon emissions, the project allows the plant to explore new, green opportunities.

“Our next opportunity is sustainable aviation fuels, and you heard about that today. In order for us to be a feedstock for sustainable aviation fuels, we have to do things like carbon capture and storage to continue to lower the carbon intense, and for the ethanol we produce, so it can be a viable feedstock for sustainable aviation fuel that has a 50% life cycle greenhouse reduction requirement to meet the threshold of sustainable aviation fuel,” added Zueger.

The project is a partnership between UND’s Energy and Environmental Research Center and Rainbow Energy. Harvestone also has an ethanol plant near Spiritwood.