California Energy Commission awards $35M for alternative fuels development

June 1, 2012 |

In California, the state Energy Commission today unanimously approved funding of $35,031,310 to projects that will accelerate the development of green fuels and technology in California. The awards are provided through the Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program.

The program, created by Assembly Bill 118, provides approximately $100 million annually to encourage the development and use of new vehicle technologies and alternative fuels to help the state fulfill its pioneering climate change policies.

The award recipients include:

Propel Biofuels, Inc., will receive $10.1 million as a share of the cost to install 101 new E85 (ethanol) fueling facilities at existing gas fueling stations statewide. As there are currently just 51 publicly accessible E85 fueling stations in the state, this project will greatly enlarge the network of stations that can serve the approximately 500,000 flex fuel vehicles in California. Propel Biofuels is based in Redwood City.

SacPort Biofuels Corp. will receive $5 million to develop, build and test a pilot facility to demonstrate an innovative gasification process to produce renewable biomass diesel from local municipal solid waste, including green refuse, railroad ties, construction and demolition waste, and plastics that typically wind up in landfills. Because landfills are a major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions, reducing their size reduces emissions. Annually, the facility is slated to eventually produce 365,000 gallons of renewable diesel fuel that will be blended with conventional diesel. The project, located at the Port of West Sacramento, is expected to create 20 permanent jobs and an additional 30 during construction.

Springboard Biodiesel, LLC, 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 rural Northern California, which currently lacks such fuel options. Used cooking oil and other waste material will be diverted from landfills and used to produce up to 1,000 gallons a day of biodiesel to be used locally. This project is expected to create 12 permanent jobs.

Whole Energy Pacifica LLC 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 of diesel and biodiesel. The biodiesel at this facility is predominantly made from used cooking oils.

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