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Global Bioenergy Industry News

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008
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Alternative Fuel Incentives Drive Development

US – The US state of Pennsylvania is calling for applications for a statewide programme designed to accelerate the production and use of homegrown biofuels and reduce the state's dependence on foreign oil.

"Pennsylvania’s alternative energy industry continues to grow through the development and deployment of a new generation of power sources and fuels and smart energy policies," said acting Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger about Pennsylvania’s Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Programme.

"Alternative fuels made from Pennsylvania's crops are cleaner and invest millions of dollars into our economy by supporting our rural, agriculture-based communities."

In July, Governor Edward G. Rendell signed legislation to encourage the development of homegrown biofuels by establishing new requirements that every gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel contain a percentage of ethanol and biodiesel.

The Biofuel Development and In-State Production Act requires that every gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel sold will include increasing percentages of biofuels—a maximum of 20 per cent biodiesel for diesel fuel and 10 per cent ethanol for gasoline—as in-state production reaches certain benchmarks.

Under the act, the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program will award 75 cents per gallon to eligible applicants, with no single producer to receive more than $1.9 million annually.

Up to $5.3 million annually will be available under the program through the 2010-2011 financial year. To be eligible for the monthly alternative fuels production incentives, applicants must produce and sell 25,000 gallons or more per month of qualified biomass-based diesel in Pennsylvania for transportation or home heating purposes.

In addition to the new law, the Governor also signed two bills that will invest up to $665.9 million to spur alternative and renewable energy development and help customers and small businesses reduce their electricity consumption and save money.

These investments are expected to will spur as much as $3.5 billion in new, private economic development projects from alternative energy companies and create at least 10,000 good-paying jobs in a rapidly growing industry.

Earlier this month Gov Rendell announced the investment of nearly $12 million in alternative clean energy projects that will create at least 1,200 full- and part-time jobs and attract nearly $118 million in private investment.

"We are investing in Pennsylvania businesses and organizations that are committed to the development of clean-burning home-grown fuels and renewable energy sources," said Governor Rendell of the projects approved by the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority.

"The investment in innovative technologies and energy efficiency will help drive energy costs down, provide affordable energy, create good-paying, green jobs in communities throughout the state and reduce our dependence on foreign fuel."

The projects announced today are expected to generate at least 488,363 megawatt hours of electricity and conserve another 2,500 megawatt hours, which is comparable to creating enough power from clean energy to power almost 50,000 homes.

The projects will also avoid polluting emissions from traditional power plants, including more than 310,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, 2,000 tonnes of sulfur dioxide and 430 tonnes of nitrogen oxides – pollutants that combine to form ground-level ozone and smog, the equivalent to removing 55,000 cars from the road.

The list of projects awarded grants includes:


a.m. Rodriguez Associates: $500,000 to provide energy efficiency strategies in the conversion of an historic school building to a mixed-use facility that will include 99 apartments for senior citizens, an early childhood development center, and a YMCA. Strategies include a solar thermal system, rain cisterns to collect water for an evaporative cooling system and high-efficiency lighting. The project will save 145,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity and 847 million Btu of natural gas annually, and create 18 permanent jobs and 10 temporary jobs. The project will avoid air pollution, including more than 92 tons of carbon dioxide, and conserve 45,000 gallons of water annually.

Plextronics Inc.: $1 million to establish a large-area organic photovoltaic module process development line that will allow the company to reduce manufacturing costs. The project will generate more than 400,000 solar modules annually for sale, with a total capacity of 4.1 million kWh per year. It is expected that the modules, when deployed, will avoid emissions from traditional power plants by 212,000 pounds of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide by 244,000 pounds, and carbon dioxide by 54.5 million pounds. The project will create more than 15 jobs.

Redevelopment Authority of the County of Allegheny: $100,000 to install solar-powered LED lighting on two new roadways that will lead traffic into a business park that is being redeveloped after years of being vacant. The lighting project is expected to save 31,865 kWh of electricity and avoid 20 tons of carbon dioxide annually. Reopening the business park will create 200 permanent jobs.


Economy Borough: $7,000 to replace 100 lighting fixtures and 300 bulbs with energy-efficient alternatives. The project is expected to save $3,136 for the borough annually.


City of Butler: $20,000 to purchase LED traffic signals to conserve 58,000 kWh of electricity annually, or almost 80 percent of previous energy use.


First Nation Wood Pellets LLC: $500,000 to construct a 78,000-ton-per-year wood pellet manufacturing plant. Pellet production equates to more than 9 million gallons of fuel oil annually. The project will create 45 full-time jobs.


Chester County Public Safety Training Foundation: $850,000 for the construction of an emergency training facility on a brownfield site. The building is designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards, with features including solar photovoltaics and water heating, LED lighting and lighting controls, a geothermal HVAC system, and a heat recovery ventilation system. The project is expected to save 163,455 kWh of electricity annually and 304 million cubic feet of natural gas and avoid air pollution, including 255 tons of carbon dioxide. It will create 120 jobs.


Iron Oxide Recovery Inc.: $262,190 to install a solar system to dewater iron oxide from mine drainage. The resulting material is used to make EnvironOxide, a green construction product. The system will prevent the use of more than 9,000 gallons of diesel fuel, conserve 200,000 kWh of electricity and reduce carbon dioxide by more than 127 tons annually.


Nydree Flooring LLC: $269,801 to replace an oil-fueled steam system with a biomass system fueled by more than 600 tons of wood waste annually. The biomass system will reduce air emissions of pollutants that form ground-level ozone and smog. The biomass system will save more than 44,000 gallons of diesel fuel.


Benton Area School District: $350,000 to further develop a biomass-fueled boiler project by constructing a boiler housing and piping system. The completed project would provide an estimated 80 percent of the district's heating requirement, avoiding use of 42,644 gallons of fuel oil and reducing emissions by 88 percent or more.


University Crossing at Chester Commons II LP: $500,000 for a solar hot water system and a geothermal heating and cooling system in a mixed residential, commercial and hotel project adjacent to Widener University. The project is expected to save 253,000 kWh of electricity annually, provide almost 200 jobs and revitalize a low-income neighborhood. The green buildings will reduce air pollution, including 160 tons of carbon dioxide annually, and improve water consumption and wastewater disposal.


Eagle Bio Diesel: $162,020 to develop a biodiesel manufacturing and distribution facility. The project would initially involve the use of waste vegetable oil as feedstock from an expanding area of feedstock suppliers. The project will result in the production of 792,000 gallons of biodiesel annually, and the creation of 50 full-time jobs.


Mercersburg Water Authority: $240,000 to install two 10 kW wind turbines to supplement energy required to operate a water treatment plant and supply any excess electricity back to the grid via net metering.


Susquehanna Smart Fuel LLC: $462,000 to expand its canola oil producing operations by 120,000 gallons per year. The canola oil is used, partly, as an additive for biofuel production. The project will reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SOx), carbon dioxide, mercury and particulates air emissions, and create five full-time jobs.


American Refining & Biochemical Inc.: $1 million to construct a facility to process up to 180,000 tons of biomass per year into more than 60,000 tons of a coal-like product. This facility, to be built on a brownfield site, could possibly be the first operating commercial processor in the U.S. Production of 65,000 tons of product would have a fuel value of 1.3 million Btu. Use of the product would avoid air pollution from traditional power plants, including 241,000 tons of carbon dioxide, 337 tons of NOx and 1,600 tons of SOx.


Ameresco Inc.: $198,000 to install a 600 kW ground-mounted photovoltaic array at the Tobyhanna Army Depot. The solar array will generate 868,000 kWh per year of electricity. The solar array is expected to reduce NOx emissions by 1,273 pounds, SOx emissions by 3 tons and carbon dioxide emissions by 456 tons per year.


Centocor: $670,000 to install a 100 kW, roof-mounted photovoltaic array and a 65 kW photovoltaic carport. The arrays will generate 165 kWh of electricity, offset 15,000 gallons of heating oil and avoid 125 tons of carbon dioxide annually. The project will create two permanent jobs and 25 temporary jobs.


Grid Storage Technologies LLC: $500,000 to develop the demonstration phase of an advanced battery system, which is estimated to save 500,000 kWh per year of electricity and reduce air pollutants that form ground-level ozone and smog, and more than 785 tons of carbon dioxide annually.


IntelliWatt Renewable Energy: $150,000 to develop a 12 MW biomass-to-energy project at an industrial park in a Keystone Opportunity Zone. The project will avoid more than 66,000 tons of carbon dioxide, 93 tons of NOx and 444 tons of SOx annually.


School District of Philadelphia: $1 million for a geothermal heat pump HVAC system for use in an energy-efficient, green high school. The system will reduce energy costs by 40 percent, or more than $50,000 a year. The project is expected to create 30 permanent full-time jobs and 100 temporary jobs. Use of the system will avoid pollutants that form ground-level ozone and smog, and 160 tons of carbon dioxide annually.


Fessler USA: $1 million to complete a solar photovoltaic installation. The project will generate 667,000 kWh per year of electricity and avoid air pollution from traditional power plants, including 506 tons of carbon dioxide annually.


Pittsburgh Electric Engines Inc.: $346,351 to develop bundled solid oxide fuel cells and assemblies for mobile and transport systems.


Church & Dwight Company: $1 million to provide energy-efficient components to a 1.1-million-square-foot manufacturing, warehouse and office space designed to meet LEED standards. The complex is designed to reduce energy consumption by 30 percent, and reduce solid waste generation, water consumption and industrial effluent by 50 percent. Energy efficiency features include a geothermal HVAC system for the office complex and solar thermal hot water systems for the manufacturing plant. The project is expected to save 7.1 million cubic feet of natural gas annually, saving almost $90,000. The project will create approximately 300 jobs as it also reduces carbon dioxide by 159 tons annually.

Komax Systems York: $800,000 to expand its facility to produce an automation system for complete photovoltaic module production. The project will create 41 permanent jobs and 11 temporary full-time jobs. Komax Systems is an international leader in supplying solar soldering machines.

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