Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced $8.8 million in grants to biofuel production facilities in 39 states sustain jobs.
The funding is being provided through USDA’s Advanced Biofuel Payment Program, established in the 2008 Farm Bill. Grants are made under this program to biofuels producers based on the amount of advanced biofuels produced from renewable biomass.
To date, USDA has made $308 million in payments to 382 producers in 47 states and territories. These payments have produced enough biofuel to provide more than 391 billion kilowatt hours of electric energy.
The latest round of $8.8 million in funding is going to renewable energy facilities in 39 states. Most of the recipients are producers of advanced biofuels using wood pellets, biodiesel transesterification, ethanol, and some anaerobic digester facilities.
For example, Scott Petroleum Corporation in Itta Bena, MS, is receiving a $13,165 payment to produce more than 2.6 million gallons of biodiesel from three million gallons of waste, non-food grade corn and catfish oil and poultry fat. The biodiesel produced is distributed throughout Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
Quad County Corn Processors Co-Op of Galva, IA is likewise receiving a $2,011 payment to convert more than 39 million gallons of corn kernel fiber into 660,000 gallons of cellulosic ethanol. The company converts the fiber into ethanol and other products using a process developed by their own researchers.
Investments in renewable energy and the biobased economy are a leading part of USDA’s commitment to mitigating climate change and promoting a clean-energy economy. All told, USDA has invested $332 million since Jan 2009 to accelerate research on renewable energy ranging from genomic research on bioenergy feedstock crops, to development of biofuel conversion processes and costs/benefit estimates of renewable energy production.
Also since 2009, USDA has developed new markets for rural-made products, including more than 2,500 biobased products through the BioPreferred program.
USDA’s Rural Development agency has been driving U.S economic development through $11 billion worth of investments since 2009 to start or expand 103,000 rural businesses, along with financing for 185,000 miles of electric transmission and distribution lines; and support for projects that have helped bring high-speed Internet access to nearly 6 million rural residents and businesses.
Also during this period, USDA has helped 1.1 million rural residents buy homes, and funded nearly 7,000 community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care facilities.