Castillo, BioStar working together on Distributed Solar to power Renewable Diesel production in Kansas

April 25, 2023
Renewable diesel is fuel-grade product derived from refining of animal and vegetable fats and oils. Daily annual production is forecast to double from nearly 200,000 barrels per day to nearly 400,000 bpd, according to the EIA

Solar engineering firm Castillo Engineering and construction contractor BioStar Renewables will work together to build a 15-MW solar farm which will power a new renewable diesel production plant in Kansas.

The on-site power project will be completed sometime in the second quarter, according to reports. Castillo Engineering will provide electrical design and engineering for the behind-the-meter solar farm currently under construction.

“We chose Castillo Engineering for this project because they have proven themselves to be an exceptional partner on the variety of projects they have supported us with in several different states," said David Smart, Chief Commercial Officer of BioStar Renewables, which is handling EPC duties on the solar construction. "They are extremely detail oriented during each step of the design process, and we are excited to be able to work with them to provide more sustainable energy for this state-of-the-art renewable diesel plant."\

Renewable diesel is fuel-grade product derived from refining of animal and vegetable fats and oils. Daily annual production is forecast to double from nearly 200,000 barrels per day to nearly 400,000 bpd, or 5.9 billion gallons annually, by 2025, according to the federal Energy Information Administration’s long-term outlook.

Florida-based Castillo Engineering was founded more than 25 years ago and reported its best sales year ever in 2022. The company designed 550 MW of residential, utility-scale and community solar projects over the course of the year, according to the Castillo website.

"We are honored to have been selected by BioStar Renewables for this exceptional project, which is contributing to a more sustainable future in more ways than one," said Christopher Castillo, CEO of Castillo Engineering. "Although we have projects throughout the entire country, we are especially looking forward to providing our design, engineering and site optimization expertise for additional impactful projects in the Midwest region this year and in the years to come."

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Renewable EPC firm Solar Generation chose Castillo Engineering last year for design and engineering work on a portfolio of 11 New York community solar projects totaling 75 MW in capacity.

Renewable diesel capacity is opening up and adding scale on several fronts as transportation firms opt for high energy density fuels which can also help to decarbonize their fleets. Pipeline and terminal giant Kinder Morgan put new renewable diesel hubs into operation earlier this year in both the southern and northern ends of California. 

Rolls-Royce, Neste, Phillips 66 and U.S. Foods are among those embracing renewable diesel at various points along the transportation fuel supply chain.

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(Rod Walton, senior editor for EnergyTech, is a 15-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a newspaper and trade journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]).

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About the Author

Rod Walton, EnergyTech Managing Editor | Senior Editor

For EnergyTech editorial inquiries, please contact Managing Editor Rod Walton at [email protected].

Rod Walton has spent 15 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist. He formerly was energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World. Later, he spent six years covering the electricity power sector for Pennwell and Clarion Events. He joined Endeavor and EnergyTech in November 2021.

Walton earned his Bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. His career stops include the Moore American, Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Wagoner Tribune and Tulsa World. 

EnergyTech is focused on the mission critical and large-scale energy users and their sustainability and resiliency goals. These include the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the military, universities, data centers and microgrids. The C&I sectors together account for close to 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

He was named Managing Editor for Microgrid Knowledge and EnergyTech starting July 1, 2023

Many large-scale energy users such as Fortune 500 companies, and mission-critical users such as military bases, universities, healthcare facilities, public safety and data centers, shifting their energy priorities to reach net-zero carbon goals within the coming decades. These include plans for renewable energy power purchase agreements, but also on-site resiliency projects such as microgrids, combined heat and power, rooftop solar, energy storage, digitalization and building efficiency upgrades.