Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing $8.8 million to boost the production of advanced biofuels and sustain jobs at renewable energy facilities in 39 states.
USDA continues to lead the way in promotion of advanced biofuel production, from implementing the revised farm bill biorefinery program to launching the Green Fleet with the Department of the Navy and developing the Biogas Opportunities Roadmap, which outlines voluntary strategies to overcome barriers to expansion and development of a robust biogas industry within the U.S.
"Advanced biofuels expand America's energy options and increase our sources of homegrown, renewable energy," Vilsack said. "These payments not only help to spur biofuel production but also protect the environment and help create jobs by building a renewable energy economy in rural areas."
The funding is being provided through USDA's Advanced Biofuel Payment Program, which was established in the 2008 farm bill. Payments are made to biofuel producers based on the amount of advanced biofuels produced from renewable biomass other than corn kernel starch. Examples of eligible feedstocks include crop residue, food and yard waste, vegetable oil and animal fat. Through this program to date, USDA has made $308 million in payments to 382 producers in 47 states and territories. These payments have produced enough biofuels to provide more than 391 billion kWh of electric energy.
Vilsack has recognized the bio-based economy as one of the pillars that strengthen rural communities. Through the Advanced Biofuel Payment Program and other USDA programs, USDA is working to support the research, investment and infrastructure necessary to build a strong biofuel industry that creates jobs and broadens the range of feedstocks used to produce renewable fuels. Over the course of this Administration, USDA has invested $332 million to accelerate research on renewable energy, ranging from genomic research on bioenergy feedstock crops to developing biofuel conversion processes and costs/benefit estimates of renewable energy production.
In January, Vilsack joined Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus to launch the Great Green Fleet and witnessed destroyer USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) being replenished with advanced biofuels made from waste beef fat. Aviation biofuels, like those used by the Navy, are creating new markets for energy made from agricultural waste products.
USDA has also supported efforts to build six new biorefineries to produce advanced biofuels in Louisiana, Georgia, Oregon, Nevada, North Carolina and Iowa, in addition to three existing facilities in New Mexico, Michigan and Florida.
Quad County Corn Processors Co-Op of Galva, Iowa, is receiving a $2,011 payment to convert more than 39 million gal. of corn kernel fiber into 660,000 gal. of cellulosic ethanol. The company converts the fiber into ethanol and other products using a process developed by its own research team.
Scott Petroleum Corp. in Itta Bena, Miss., is receiving a $13,165 payment to produce more than 2.6 million gal. of biodiesel from 3 million gal. of waste, non-food-grade corn, catfish oil and poultry fat. The biodiesel is distributed throughout Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
View the complete list of producers receiving payments.