USDA announces support for producers of advanced biofuel
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is making payments to support the production of advanced biofue and USDA is making nearly $15.5 million in payments to 188 producers through the Advanced Biofuel Payment Program, according Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.
USDA Rural Development acting Undersecretary Doug O’Brien made the announcement on Vilsack’s behalf in Omaha, Neb., at the National Advanced Biofuels Conference.
“Producing advanced biofuels is a major component of the drive to take control of America’s energy future by developing domestic, renewable energy sources,” O’Brien said. “These payments represent the Obama Administration’s commitment to support an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy.”
The funding is being provided through USDA’s Advanced Biofuel Payment Program, which was established in the 2008 farm bill. Under this program, payments are made to eligible producers based on the amount of advanced biofuels produced from renewable biomass, other than corn kernel starch. Examples of eligible feedstocks include but are not limited to: crop residue; animal, food and yard waste; vegetable oil; and animal fat.
O’Brien said the announcement serves as a reminder of the importance of USDA programs for rural America and a reminder of the need for Congress to get a comprehensive farm bill done as soon as possible.
“Job seekers in rural America need new and expanded investments in renewable energy, biofuel and bio-based product manufacturing—all of which can help create jobs in rural areas,” O’Brien said.
Through the Advanced Biofuel Payment Program and other USDA programs, the department is working to support the research, investment and infrastructure necessary to build a strong biofuels industry that creates jobs and broadens the range of feedstocks used to produce renewable fuel. More than 290 producers in 47 states and territories have received $211 million in payments since the program’s inception. It has supported the production of more than 3 billion gallons of advanced biofuel and the equivalent of more than 36 billion kilowatt hours of electric energy.
For example, Riverview, LLP, a Minnesota-based company, will be receiving an $8,040 payment to help offset the cost of producing electricity from two anaerobic digesters. The two digesters use manure from two of the company’s dairy operations to produce electricity, which is sold to Great River Energy. During the last quarter of 2012, the anaerobic digesters produced almost 4.9 million kilowatt hours of electricity, enough to power more than 400 homes a year.
American Biodiesel, Inc. (dba Community Fuels) in Encinitas, Calif., is receiving a $47,186 payment for its quarterly production of biodiesel from a variety of sources, including canola and soybean oil. The biodiesel reduces emissions and is primarily used as an alternative to diesel fuel. In the past, Community Fuels has used funds from the Advanced Biofuel Payment Program to install equipment and increase production at its bio-refinery at the Port of Stockton, Calif.