Pennsylvania offers incentives for advances in biofuel technologies

Applications were made available in Pennsylvania for a statewide program designed to accelerate the production and use of homegrown biofuels and reduce Pennsylvania’s dependence on foreign oil.

In July, Governor Edward G. Rendell signed legislation to encourage the development of biofuels by establishing requirements that every gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel contain ethanol and biodiesel. The Biofuel Development and In-State Production Act requires that every gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel sold will include increasing percentages of biofuels – a maximum of 20 percent biodiesel for diesel fuel and 10 percent ethanol for gasoline – as in-state production reaches certain benchmarks.

Under the act, the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program will award $.75 per gallon to eligible applicants, with no single producer to receive more than $1.9 million annually. Up to $5.3 million annually will be available under the program through fiscal year 2010-2011.

To be eligible for the monthly alternative fuels production incentives, applicants must produce and sell 25,000 gallons or more per month of qualified biomass-based diesel in Pennsylvania for transportation or home heating purposes.

Production incentive applications are now available from the DEP and will initially cover reimbursement requests for biodiesel produced and sold in Pennsylvania from July 1 through September 30. Applications were due by November 14.

Once applications are accepted for the initial period, DEP will begin accepting applications for reimbursement on a monthly basis. Requests shall be submitted for the previous month’s production and must be postmarked or received by the last day of the month.

In addition to the new law, the Governor also signed two bills that will invest up to $665.9 million to spur alternative and renewable energy development and help customers and small businesses reduce their electricity consumption and save money. These investments are expected to spur as much as $3.5 billion in new, private economic development projects from alternative energy companies and create at least 10,000 good-paying jobs in a rapidly growing industry.

For more information, or to download guidance and instructions, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us .