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USDA awards REAP, FPEP funds to biogas, bioenergy projects

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By Erin Voegele

January 23, 2024

BiogasPowerThermal

The USDA on Jan. 22 announced it is investing $207 million in 682 renewable energy and domestic fertilizer projects through the Rural Energy for American Program and Fertilizer Production Expansion Program.

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The U.K. government is considering extending subsidies for biomass power producers that plan to develop bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) capacity. A public consultation is open through Feb. 29.

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Ag-Grid Energy LLC has begun operations at its anaerobic digester at Lent Hill Dairy Farm in Cohocton, New York. A partnership between Ag-Grid and Lent Hill, the digester is Ag-Grid Energy’s fifth operating waste-to-energy facility.

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The U.K. government on Jan. 16 approved plans for Drax Power Ltd.’s proposed bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) project that will capture carbon dioxide emissions from up to two existing biomass units at Drax Power Station.

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The U.S. EPA on Jan. 11 proposed to strengthen CAA standards for large facilities that burn MSW. The proposed standards would apply to 57 facilities with 152 units that have the capacity to combust more than 250 tons per day of MSW.

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Renewables are expected to account for 24 percent of U.S. renewable electricity generation this year, increasing to 26 percent in 2025, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook, released Jan. 9.

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Pacolet Milliken LLC announced on Jan. 9 it has acquired 100 percent of Piedmont Green Power from an affiliate of Atlantic Power & Utilities. Piedmont is a 55 MW biomass-fired power plant located in Barnesville, Georgia.

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Japan-based Renova Inc. on Dec. 22 announced that start up of its 75-megawatt (MW) Omaezakikou Biomass Power Plant will be delayed by several months. The facility is currently expected to begin operations in March.

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NOVEC Energy Production Halifax County Biomass, a South Boston Energy company, has renewed the operation and maintenance agreement (O&M agreement) with PIC Group for the Halifax County 49.9-megawatt (MW) biomass power station through 2026.

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West Biofuels LLC was awarded $4 million from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s (CAL FIRE) Business and Workforce Development Grant Award to support the development of clean, renewable energy projects.

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Japan-based Renova Inc. on Dec. 11 announced its 74.8-megawatt (MW) Tokushima Tsuda Biomass Power Plant has begun operations. The facility, located in Tokushima City, Japan, is fueled by wood pellets and palm kernel shells.

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Taiwan is considering the use of wood pellets to help boost its use of renewable energy, according to a report filed with the USDA. The opportunity could translate into a $300 million opportunity for wood pellet producers.

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Enchanted Rock and U.S. Energy have announced a partnership to procure renewable natural gas (RNG) for Microsoft's new data center in San Jose during grid outages and when California's Base Interruptible Power (BIP) is activated.

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The Ontario government is investing more than $1.5 million in 15 research, innovation and modernization initiatives that will develop the untapped economic potential and environmental benefit of new and emerging uses of forest biomass.

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Renewables are currently expected to account for 24 percent of U.S. renewable electricity generation in 2024, up from 22 percent in 2023 and 21 percent in 2022, according to the U.S. EIA’s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook.

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Hawaiian Electric’s proposal to replace six fossil-fuel generators at its Waiau Power Plant with efficient flex-fuel units that can be fueled with biodiesel, renewable gas or hydrogen will advance to the next phase of an energy procurement process.

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Biomass Magazine on Dec. 6 released the agenda for the 17th Annual International Biomass Conference & Expo taking place March 4-6, 2024 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center in Richmond, Virginia.

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Nov. 28 signed a package of clean energy and climate action legislation, including a bill that creates a clean energy standard requiring the state to produce 100 percent of its energy from clean sources by 2040.

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Japan-based Renova Inc. on Nov. 20 announced its 75-megawatt (MW) Morinomiyako Biomass Power Plant began operations on Nov. 18. The facility is fueled with wood pellets and palm kernel shells.

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Drax has announced that six U.S. non-profits will receive $433,000 as part of the Drax Foundation’s latest round of donations. The funded initiatives include those that support STEM education and improve community greenspaces.

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U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 930,000 tons of densified biomass fuels in August, according to the November edition of the U.S. EIA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuels Report. Sales of densified biomass fuel reached 1.06 million tons.

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A coalition of over 20 organizations and companies launched the Partnership for Electric Pathways to work with the U.S. EPA to secure a viable pathway for renewable electricity to get credit under EPA's Renewable Fuel Standard program.

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The call for presentation abstracts for the 17th Annual International Biomass Conference & Expo, produced by Biomass Magazine, is now open. The event will take place March 4-6, 2024, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center in Richmond, Virginia.

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Drax on Nov. 8 announced it is partnering with Patch, a climate technology company that is building digital infrastructure for the carbon market. Patch’s software helps voluntary carbon market participants buy, sell, and manage credits.

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration currently expects renewables to account for 22 percent of U.S. electricity generation this year, increasing to 24 percent next year, according to the agency’s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook.

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The global leader in conveyor safety is disputing the idea that putting conveyor equipment out of reach or inconveniently placed away from workers -- known as “Guarding by Location” -- is a valid form of safety.

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The USDA’s Forest Service on Oct. 18 announced it is making nearly $50 million in grant funding available through the agency’s Wood Innovations Grant, Community Wood Grant and Wood Products Infrastructure Assistance Grant Programs.

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Drax Group plc in early October announced that the U.K. government has signaled its intent to allow large-scale BECCS projects to be eligible to participate in an expansion of the Track-1 carbon clustering process.

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Aker Carbon Capture has been awarded a feasibility study to implement carbon capture at a biomass combined-heat-and-power (CHP) facility in Germany. The planned capture capacity will be 250,000 metric tons CO2 per year.

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Renewables are expected to account for 25 percent of U.S. electricity generation next year, up from 22 percent in 2023, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook, released Oct. 11.

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