USDA announces more than 160 payments to biofuel companies

By Lisa Gibson | September 27, 2011

A number of pellet manufacturers are included in a list of companies that will receive payments from the USDA to expand production and availability of both solid and liquid biofuels.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the more than 160 recipients in 41 states Sept. 27, saying they will support America’s growing biofuels industry. "Renewable energy production will create tens of thousands of direct, American jobs; thousands more indirect jobs, and clean electricity to power millions of homes,” he said. “The payments I am announcing today represent the continuing commitment of the Obama administration to work with producers to provide the biofuel necessary to reduce our nation's dependence on foreign energy sources.”

Among the recipients is Enviva LP, with a payment of $7,891.09; Maine Woods Pellet Co. LLC with $58,922.82; New England Wood Pellet LLC with $98,859.98; and Appling County Pellets, LLC with a payment of $240,837.92.

The payments are authorized under the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels, section 9005 of the 2008 Farm Bill. The program provides payments to producers to support and expand the production of advanced biofuels refined from sources other than corn kernel starch. Payments are based on the amount of biofuels a recipient produces from renewable biomass such as cellulose, crop residue, animal, food and yard waste material, biogas from landfill gas or sewage waste treatment gas, vegetable oil and animal fat.

Also among the recipients is an on-farm anaerobic digester at Castelanelli Brothers dairy operation in Lodi, Calif. The digester produces 160 kilowatts of electricity for the farm and will receive a payment from the USDA of $3,205.10. Other awardees include more pellet plants and anaerobic digestion plants, as well as ethanol producers, landfill gas recovery operations and biodiesel producers.

To see the list of payment recipients, click here.