Commonwealth Agri-Energy, LLC (CAE) is a corn ethanol plant that is owned by Hopkinsville Elevator, Inc, a grain cooperative formed in 1968 with 3,400 current patron members. CAE was established in 2004 and is located in Hopkinsville, KY adjacent to Hopkinsville Elevator’s Casky grain elevator facility, which is the co-op’s largest grain handling facility. CAE averages 35 employees to support a 24-hr. operation. CAE is a producer of fuel ethanol, beverage and industrial ethanol, and wet and dried distiller’s grains.

Quality Policy Statement:

Quality is important to our business because we value our customers. CAE is continually striving to provide exceptional service and quality products to new and existing customers. We are committed to continuous improvement and have established a Quality Management System which provides a framework for measuring and improving our performance. To adhere to our Quality Management System, all CAE products are manufactured in full compliance with current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations. (cGMP) cGMP provides for Adherence to the cGMP regulations assures the identity, strength, quality, and purity of products by requiring that manufacturers adequately control manufacturing operations. This includes establishing strong quality management systems, obtaining appropriate quality raw materials, establishing operating procedures, detecting and investigating product quality deviations, and maintaining reliable testing laboratories. This formal system of controls helps to prevent instances of contamination, mix-ups, deviations, failures, and errors. This assures that products meet their quality standards. In addition, CAE is Kosher Certified and in compliance under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) for both Animal Food and Human Food.

We have the following systems and procedures in place to support us and adhere to our Quality Management System.

  • Annual cGMP training with staff
  • Annual Kosher recertification with OK Kosher
  • Timely reanalysis of our Food Safety Plan for both Animal Food and Human Food
  • Training and development for our employees
  • Regular audit of our internal processes
  • Measurable quality objectives (KPI) which reflect our business aims

Our internal procedures are reviewed regularly and are held in a Quality Manual which is made available to all employees.


Mick Henderson, General Manager

Jonathan Stahl, Plant Manager 


Dry Milling Process

This year, Commonwealth Agri-Energy will use 15,000,000 Bushels of Corn to produce:
  • 45,000,000 Gallons of Ethanol
  • 129,000 Tons of Distillers Dried Grains,
  • 110,000 Tons of CO2
  • 7,000 Tons of Animal Feed Grade Distillers Corn Oil

The Dry Milling Process is Diagrammed to the Right:


What is Ethanol?

Ethanol is an alcohol made from corn that has been converted into simple sugars and then fermented and distilled. Because ethanol is a renewable fuel produced from corn, increased ethanol usage will boost Kentucky farm income while, at the same time, reducing U.S. reliance on imported oil and reducing carbon monoxide emissions.

Why Ethanol?
  • Ethanol is a value-added product of corn, which aids local and state economies and boosts profitability of corn growers.
  • Ethanol is an oxygenated octane enhancer added to motor fuel to reduce harmful vehicle emissions that are released into the air daily.
  • Ethanol is a biodegradable alternative additive that provides consumers with a high-octane fuel at a competitive price.
  • One bushel of corn produces 2.8 gallons of ethanol 17 lbs. distiller's dry grain 17 lbs. CO2
  • Ethanol lowers harmful carbon monoxide (CO) emissions by 30 percent.
Facts About Ethanol
  • 1 bushel of corn = 2.8 gallons of ethanol, 17 pounds of livestock feed (distillers grains) and 18 pounds of carbon dioxide.
  • Ethanol has an octane rating of 113 and contains 77,000 BTU’s.
  • E10 (10% ethanol, 90% gasoline) is safe for use in any gasoline-powered engine, including motorcycles and lawnmowers.
  • 13 billion gallons of ethanol produced in 2010 reduced America’s need for imported oil for gasoline refining by 445 million barrels.
  • In 2010, the production of 13 billion gallons of ethanol helped support more than 400,000 jobs in all sectors of the economy.
  • All of the Big Three auto makers have recommended the use of gasoline containing oxygenates, such as ethanol, in their warranty statements since the 1993 model year. The reason?…..the lower and less harmful emissions produced by ethanol.
  • Flex-fuel Vehicles (FFV’s) can use E85, a blend of 85% ethanol, 15% gasoline, unleaded or any combination of the two.  There are more than 8.5 million FFV’s on America’s roads today.
  • 40% of the cars in Brazil run on 100% ethanol; the rest run on 22% ethanol and 78% gasoline.

Integrated Agriculture

100% Farmer Owned

Commonwealth Agri-Energy, LLC is proudly owned by the 3400 members of the Hopkinsville Elevator CO-OP.

Commonwealth Photos

Board of Managers:

Chairman:        David Brame

Vice-Chairman:  Philip Garnett

Secretary:          Wayne Hunt


John Young

Seldon Dixon, Jr.

Laura Knoth

Randy Riley

John Martin

Jeff Davis