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New York Offers $20 Million for Cellulosic Ethanol Pilot Plant

July 12, 2006


Bird's-eye view of a pilot plant, which consists of eight large vessels interconnected with a complex network of piping.

The planned facility in New York should resemble Abengoa Bioenergy's pilot plant in Nebraska, which is testing cellulosic ethanol technologies.
Credit: Abengoa Bioenergy

New York Governor George E. Pataki announced in mid-June that the state is offering $20 million in grants to develop and construct a pilot plant that produces ethanol from cellulosic biomass, such as switchgrass, willow, wood chips, and pulp and paper mill wastes. The New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) are jointly administering the state's Request for Proposals (RFP). Applicants must demonstrate that they are able to build a pilot facility and to use the knowledge derived from the operation of the pilot plant to develop a commercial-scale facility. Up to four awards will be made, ranging from $5 million to $20 million. Proposals are due on September 20th. See the governor's press release and the RFP.

NYSERDA is currently offering more than $17 million for a variety of clean energy projects. In mid-June, NYSERDA released Program Opportunity Notice (PON) 1042, which offers $8.5 million for the development of clean, small power sources that could be located in a home or business. In addition to such "distributed generation" (DG) products, the PON offers funds for feasibility or technology transfer studies relating to DG products, for energy storage demonstrations, and for environmental impact assessment studies and mitigation techniques for renewable energy technologies. Through PON 1043, NYSERDA is offering an additional $7.5 million for feasibility studies, technology transfer studies, and demonstration projects for DG projects that produce both heat and power. Proposals for both PONs are due on August 22nd. See PON 1042 and PON 1043.

Other funding opportunities available from NYSERDA include PON 792, which provides incentives of up to $100,000 for wind turbine installations. Up to $2.5 million is available through the PON, and the application deadline was recently extended to September 30th. In addition, PON 1041 offers $750,000 for the development of innovative products and systems for buildings. Proposals are due on September 26th. See PON 792 and PON 1041 and the full list of funding opportunities on the NYSERDA Web site.