California Ethanol + Power advances through DOE loan program

By California Ethanol and Power | April 21, 2022

California Ethanol and Power (CE+P) today announced it has advanced through Part I of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office Title XVII Innovative Energy Loan Guarantee Program and Renewable Energy Projects and Efficient Energy Projects Solicitation, a rigorous first stage of consideration to qualify projects eligible for the program. As a result, CE+P has been invited to submit a Part II Application for a federal loan guarantee, according to Ron Blake, California Ethanol + Power’s chief financial officer.

“This important milestone demonstrates that Sugar Valley Energy meets the rigorous initial evaluation standards set by the Department of Energy for innovation in renewable energy, as an invitation to Part II is not something the Loan Programs Office extends lightly,” Blake said. “Advanced biofuels represent a critical part of our nation’s energy future, and domestically produced sugarcane ethanol will provide a quality renewable resource to meet our energy needs with much lower carbon intensity than imported sources.”

If awarded, the DOE loan would be used for construction of Sugar Valley Energy, California Ethanol + Power’s planned and permitted 160-acre campus, combining an advanced ethanol biorefinery, bioelectric and biogas generation along with wastewater treatment facilities in Imperial County, California. 

CE+P is currently in the process of securing equity and bond financing for Sugar Valley Energy, with construction expected to begin this year.

The sugarcane ethanol to be produced at Sugar Valley Energy is expected to have a Carbon Intensity (CI) score considerably lower than today’s domestically produced corn ethanol, and the planned biorefinery will incorporate next-generation measures to reduce emissions throughout its operation.

 A significant part of California Ethanol + Power’s vision for Sugar Valley Energy is to contract with local agricultural producers to establish an estimated 48,000 acres of sugarcane production in the Imperial Valley. The sugarcane feedstock will produce more than 70 million gallons of low-carbon ethanol each year along with up to 49 Megawatts of electrical power, helping meet California’s established emissions reduction, renewable energy, and low-carbon energy goals.

CE+P has obtained all the major necessary permits and environmental certifications for the development of the Sugar Valley Energy project and has entered into a long-term purchase and marketing agreement with agribusiness leader CHS Inc. to sell the ethanol produced at the new energy campus.

According to a third-party economic analysis, Sugar Valley Energy is projected to have a $1.7 billion positive economic impact through construction and year one of operations, and support more than 15,000 direct and indirect jobs in the surrounding region over the same period. The development of Sugar Valley Energy will also establish critical infrastructure for future growth in Imperial Valley by delivering access to a critical water treatment plant and energy capacity nearby.