Biorefinery Gets Help In Replacing Fossil Fuels With Biomass

USDA is helping convert production system at an Iowa ethanol plant to biomass.

Published on: Sep 10, 2010

USDA is using the Repowering Assistance Program, which was established in the last Farm Bill, that pays eligible biorefineries to encourage them to use renewable energy in their own production process to replace fossil fuel.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that Lincolnway Energy in Nevada, Iowa will receive $1.9 million to modify a boiler to burn wood and other biomass instead of fossil fuels in the production of ethanol.

"There is a willingness on the part of the Administration, on the part of Congress to invest Federal dollars and to leverage those dollars in the form of grants and guaranteed loans in fairly large amounts to respond to some of the capital needs that are out there, that we know will be out there," Vilsack said.

Lack of investment capital has been cited as a major obstacle for the biofuels industry in general. Biorefineries that were in existence when the 2008 Farm Bill was enacted, June 18, 2008, are eligible to apply for the USDA Repowering Assistance Program.