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  • USDA Bioenergy Funding Available through Two Programs:
    Repowering Assistance

    The purpose of this program is to provide financial incentives to biorefineries in existence on or before June 18, 2008, the date of the enactment of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill), to replace the use of fossil fuels used to produce heat or power at their facilities by installing new systems that use renewable biomass, or to produce new energy from renewable biomass. Applications for participating in this program for FY 2014 will be accepted from June 16, 2014 through September 15, 2014. Details are published in the Federal Register.

    BCAP: Turning Biomass into Energy
    USDA will accept applications from June 16 through July 14, 2014 from energy facilities interested in receiving forest or agricultural residues to generate clean energy. The support comes through the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) which was authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. From the press release: BCAP provides financial assistance to farmers and ranchers who establish and maintain new crops of energy biomass, or who harvest and deliver forest or agricultural residues to a qualifying energy facility. Of the total $25 million per year authorized for BCAP, the 2014 Farm Bill provides up to 50 percent ($12.5 million) each year for matching payments for the harvest and transportation of biomass residues. BCAP matching payments will resume this summer, while crop incentives will begin in 2015. Some matching payments will support the removal of dead or diseased trees from National Forests and Bureau of Land Management public lands. This will be turned into renewable energy while reducing the risk of forest fire. Agriculture residues, such as corn cobs and stalks, also may qualify as energy-producing feedstock.
    For more details, contact your local USDA Farm Service Agency county office, or go to the online FSA BCAP website. A BCAP Matching Payments Fact Sheet is available here.

  • Penna Energy Development Authority (PEDA) Announces $12.5M Available for Renewable Energy Projects

    The grants and loan funding opportunity opened on June 14 for alternative and renewable energy projects and projects deploying technologies such as solar energy, wind, hydropower and biomass. Any Pennsylvania municipality, non-profit corporation, school, college, university, and public or private corporations and businesses may apply. Closing date is August 15th. An informational webinar is scheduled for June 24 from 2-3 pm. Register for the webinar here.

In the Spotlight

Bioeconomy Tool Shed Added to USDA Energy Web
The USDA broadly defines bioeconomy to include renewable energy (fuels, heat and power) and biobased products. Interactive tools will help users and stakeholders identify at National, state and county levels the logistics, enviromental linkages, and economic linkages across feedstock production. The Biorefinery Stakeholder Information System is the first tool to populate the website, to assist in the evaluation process when locating a biorefinery. Public officials, investors or lenders, and farmers and landowners are provided separate sections that offer an overview of data and relevant information, with mapping and estimated crop production value calculators.

Next Generation Biomass ConversionHeat
2014 Bioenergy Short Course Offering
Next up in the Bioenergy Shortcourse Series will be a two-day course on Next Generation Biomass Conversion, on September 10-11, in San Francisco. Speakers for the course will include nationally-recognized experts in biofuels conversion from the Lawrence Berkeley and Sandia National Labs, DuPont, Myriant Technologies, Riffyn, UC-Berkeley and Penn State.

The course will provide an in-depth overview of the technical, economic, operational and policy issues that the biomass industry encounters as the field expands. The course will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Emeryville (near Berkeley), CA. Full workshop schedule and registration information.

Switchgrass Budget for Bioenergy Production Published
NEWBio adds an enterprise switchgrass budget and costing estimator spreadsheet to its growing library of tools to assist and inform landowners and farmers considering growing biomass crops. The fact sheet provides a detailed example budget and describes site preparation, soil amendments, planting, weed control, maintenance and harvesting costs. Both the budget and the costing estimator are available here.

Summer 2014 Educator Training Program Applications Available Bioenergy and Bioproducts Education Teaching Workshops will be held this summer at West Virginia University and Penn State. The workshops will be held from July 21-25, 2014 in both Morgantown, WVand University Park, PA. The workshop provides professional development and hands-on teaching tools for educators (grades 6-16, in-service and pre-service teachers and extension educators) who want to learn and teach about Bioenergy systems currently in use and under development in the U.S. Funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides scholarships for ten accepted applicants per site. The scholarships include a full waiver of the workshop registration fees and a full set of program kits to bring back to your classroom, and more. Full program description, and application information.


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