Calif. biodiesel companies receive energy commission funding

By Ron Kotrba | June 04, 2012

The California Energy Commission unanimously approved funding of more than $35 million to projects that will accelerate the development of green fuels and technology in California.

Among the biodiesel-specific recipients is Springboard Biodiesel LLC, which will receive $758,200 to develop and build a pilot biodiesel production facility in Chico, where Springboard is based. The facility is expected to provide low-cost biodiesel in northern California where the fuel is not widely available. Used cooking oil and other waste feedstock will be used to produce up to 1,000 gallons a day of biodiesel for local use. This project is expected to create 12 permanent jobs.

Other biodiesel and biomass-based diesel companies to receive CEC funding include SacPort Biofuels Corp. and Whole Energy Pacifica LLC. SacPort Biofuels will receive $5 million to develop, build and test a pilot facility to demonstrate an innovative gasification process to produce biomass-based diesel from local municipal solid waste, including green refuse, railroad ties, construction and demolition waste, and plastics that typically wind up in landfills. The facility is expected to produce 365,000 gallons of renewable diesel fuel. Located at the Port of West Sacramento, the project is expected to create 20 permanent jobs and an additional 30 jobs during construction. Whole Energy Pacifica will receive $125,274 to design, build and install a fuel-blending system at an existing biodiesel terminal in Richmond. The new system will provide accurate, uniform blending. The biodiesel at this facility is predominantly made from used cooking oils.

"These awards support a diversity of alternative fuel and vehicle types, including biodiesel production, natural gas vehicle technologies and incentives, and E85 fueling stations, which together provide a crucial boost to the development of clean energy transportation in the state,” said Energy Commissioner Carla Peterman. “They will enable the deployment of more advanced technology vehicles on the roadways—and support the development of the fueling infrastructure needed to keep them rolling. Investing in these innovative projects will benefit all Californians by improving our air quality, creating jobs, and providing the diverse transportation options that we need today and in the future."

The awards are provided through the CEC’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, created by Assembly Bill 118, which provides approximately $100 million annually to encourage the development and use of new vehicle technologies and alternative fuels to help the state fulfill its climate change policies.

The CEC said, “These investments provide vital support to emerging fuels and vehicle technologies by funding the differential cost of their development and deployment. Additionally, many of these projects leverage outside funding to attract additional investment in clean energy jobs and technology.” 


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