January 22, 2008
Twelve Florida companies received $25 million in renewal-energy grants for projects that develop renewable energy.
The grants are part of Florida's Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson's "Farm to Fuel" initiative, a program designed to get Florida's agriculture industry to produce 25 percent of the state's energy needs by the year 2025. It also includes an effort to reduce Florida's dependency on foreign oil and to keep land in agriculture.
Projects receiving grants:
- Gulf Coast Energy of Walton, LLC, of Walton County, received $7 million in grant money that it will apply towards a $62 million project to build and operate a tandem biodiesel and ethanol production facility.
- United States Envirofuels, LLC, of Venus, Fla., also received $7 million in grant money for a ethanol production plant using sugar products.
- Liberty Industries, of Hosford, Fla., was awarded a $4 million grant for a project that will initially produce 7 million gallons of ethanol and 5.4 Megawatts of electricity using predominantly forest waste products.
- Agri-Source Fuels, LLC, of Pensacola, Fla., was also awarded $4 million for its project to build a biodiesel production plant with an annual output of 20 million gallons.
- University of Florida was awarded $500,000, in a research and development grant, to develop a catalytic chemical reactor system to convert woody biomass to biodiesel.
- Southeast Biofuels LLC was awarded $500,000, in a demonstration grant to build a nearly $6 million pilot plant in Auburndale to produce ethanol from citrus peels.
- Sigarca Inc., was awarded $499,500, in a research and demonstration project involving the construction of a 3,000-square-foot bioenergy plant on the grounds of the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion in Ocala to process horse waste into renewable energy.
- University of Central Florida was awarded $498,000, in a research and development grant, to demonstrate the viability and cost effectiveness of technology developed at the university to convert farm and animal waste into renewable energy.
- Florida Institute of Technology was awarded $415,520, in a research and development grant, to cultivate and research various strains of Microalgae capable of producing biodiesel.
- Applied Research Associates Inc. was awarded $203,130, in a research and development grant, involving converting cellulosic materials such as sugarcane byproducts to fermentable sugars for a more cost-effective way of producing ethanol.
- Applied Research Associates Inc., was awarded $182,832, in a research and development grant, to demonstrate a new technology in converting crop oils into biodiesel.
- Neptune Industries Inc. was awarded $158,270, in a research and development project, that would create a pilot-scale floating algae production system in quarry lakes in South Florida to produce algae capable of being converted into biodiesel.