BCAP Back in Action

Project area funding is awarded in New York, North Carolina and Arkansas
By Luke Geiver | July 03, 2012

In June, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that two new Biomass Crop Assistance Program project areas will be developed and another existing BCAP project area will be expanded through the help of a $9.6 million funding round.

In New York, ReEnergy Holding LLC will enroll 3,500 acres in a fast-growing shrub willow that will be used to help the biomass power developer generate more than 100 MW. The biomass company already has three facilities that have committed to purchasing the shrub feedstock. Part of the project will include support from the “Come Farm With Us,” campaign, a program that targets new and beginning farmers from the St. Regis Mohawk reservation located only 15 miles from one of the committed facilities. 

Chemtex International, a division of Gruppo Mossi & Ghisolfi, an advanced biofuels, biobased chemical and renewable energy developer based out of Italy, has been awarded roughly $4 million from the USDA to develop 4,000 acres of miscanthus and switchgrass in North Carolina. The energy crop project areas will be spread throughout 11 counties, and the energy crops will be used, in part, for Project Alpha, a 20 MMgy cellulosic ethanol biorefinery that will also produce onsite biogas for power generation, set for startup in 2014 in Sampson County, N.C. The feedstock planting, mitigation and monitoring will be led by Repreve Renewables LLC, a Georgia-based energy crop developer. Farmers will receive both establishment assistance and five years of annual production support from the BCAP funding, according to the USDA.

A northeast Arkansas project area already established through BCAP support will expand acreage for giant miscanthus grown throughout three counties to almost 8,000 acres. The project area is sponsored and run by the partnership of MFA Oil and Aloterra Energy LLC called MFA Oil Biomass LLC. The energy crops will be used for fuel pellets for export and in-farm heating and biobased packaging, according to the USDA.

—Luke Geiver