Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary Doug O’Brien today announced that USDA is making nearly $60 million in payments to 195 producers to support the production of advanced biofuel.
“These payments represent the Obama Administration’s commitment to support an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy and to help create jobs,” O’Brien said. “Producing advanced biofuels is a major component of the effort to take control of America’s energy future by developing domestic, renewable energy sources.”
The funding is being provided through the Advanced Biofuel Payment Program, which was established in the 2008 Farm Bill and reauthorized in the recently signed 2014 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.
Through this program and others at USDA, the department is working to support the research, investment and infrastructure necessary to build a robust and lasting biofuels industry that creates jobs and broadens the range of feedstocks used to produce renewable fuel. More than 300 producers in 47 states have received $279 million in payments since the program’s inception. It has supported the production of more than 4 billion gallons of advanced biofuel and the equivalent of more than 40 billion kilowatt hours of electric energy.
Producers across the country are yielding strong results. For example, Clover Hill Dairy in Campbellsport, Wis., is receiving a $6,194 payment to operate its anaerobic digester, which was commissioned 2007. In 2009, the company added a second generator and has since doubled the size of the facility. Accordingly, production has nearly doubled – to 2.7 million kilowatt hours (kWh) per year. The dairy’s herd provides the manure to produce biogas, which fuels the generators that produce electricity. The excess electricity is purchased by a local utility and delivered to customers.
KiOR Columbus, LLC, of Columbus, Miss., is receiving a $5,794 payment for its renewable gasoline and diesel blend stocks made from woody biomass. These renewable fuels are comparable to their petroleum-based counterparts and are easily dropped-in to the existing fuel supply chain.
During the two last quarters of fiscal year 2013, USDA made payments to operators of 56 anaerobic digesters that produced almost 173 million kilowatt hours of electricity – enough to power more than 17,000 homes annually.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way - strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.