November 2010 News and Matters of Interest

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ARB to Present Emissions Testing Findings & Multimedia Evaluation

California Air Resources BoardThe California Air Resources Board (ARB) has scheduled a public meeting to discuss the results of emissions testing and multimedia evaluation of biodiesel and renewable diesel fuels. An agenda is available for the meeting on Wednesday December 8, 2010 from 9:00am to 4:00pm in the CalEPA building.  University of California and ARB researchers will present their findings on the recent comprehensive biodiesel and renewable diesel emission multimedia evaluation and emissions study.  Detailed background materials will be posted on ARB’s website prior to the meeting. For questions about the meeting, contact Aubrey Sideco, Air Resources Engineer, at (916) 323-3334 or asideco@arb.ca.gov. 11/29/2010


GMO Legal Wrangling Will Impact Biofuels – Eventually

GMO CompassGenetically modified organisms (GMOs) are being developed that can efficiently break down cellulose and make biofuels; other GMOs are advancing biomass accumulation and disease resistance in agricultural biofuels feedstock development. The Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels Version 2, Criterion 11, pointedly addresses GMO-related biofuels. But control of the patenting and the application of newly engineered genetic material is being fought in other courts. The fields of human genome mapping and engineering are vying for rights to patents, while the application of GMOs in agriculture is a polarized global debate. The Australian Senate has released a report urging that new genetic materials be defined as discoveries, not as patentable new inventions. The report responded to US court rulings this past March that patents should not have been issued to Australian biotech firm Genetic Technologies, who had tried to enforce its patent rights over the BRCA1 and 2 human breast-cancer-related genes. On November 24, 2010 in Germany, the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe ruled to uphold tight restrictions on use of GMOs in German agriculture. The EU Commission’s GMO Compass reports that the judges in Karlsruhe cited “…particular duty of care in view of the fact that the state of scientific knowledge has not yet been finally established when assessing the long-term consequences of the use of genetic engineering”. 11/27/2010


BCBN and Terasen Gas Partner on Bioenergy Projects   

BC Bioenergy NetworkThe BC Bioenergy Network (BCBN), an industry-led association supporting bioenergy technologies and bioenergy capability in British Columbia, has just announced a partnership with Terasen Gas, the first utility company in Canada to include alternative energy solutions as part of its regulated energy service offerings on two major bioenergy efforts. Terasen Gas is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fortis Inc, the largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada. The first reimbursable grant of up to $200,000 supports a Terasen-led feasibility study for community bioenergy system in partnership to consider use of existing hog fuel-fired energy system at a sawmill, including a heat recovering system to generate electricity and heat, sale of electricity to BC Hydro, a hot water distribution system for heat sales to 14 client including the City, and back-up natural gas boilers. The second project, also granting up to $200,000, would capture and upgrade landfill gas, for injection into the Terasen Gas distribution system. 11/26/2010


New England EPA Schedules Green Chemistry Forum

EPA Green Chemistry Networking ForumThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is collaborating with the group Beyond Benign and the Institute for Green Chemistry to conduct a Green Chemistry Networking Forum on December 16, 2010 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. With the event, the EPA is launching a New England Green Challenge to broaden the understanding and adoption of green chemistry in business, education, government, health care, and society. Speaking: Curt Spalding, EPA New England Regional Administrator, Paul Anastas, Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) and the Science Advisor to the Agency, and John Warner, President and Chief Technology Office, Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry. There is no cost to attend. Registration by December 10th is required (register on-line), as space is limited. 11/25/2010


Recycling Plus Waste-to-Energy Will Reduce GHGs

Confederation of European Waste-to-Energy PlantsThe Confederation of European Waste-to-Energy Plants (CEWEP) represents about 390 plants converting waste into energy (WtE) across Europe. Their November Update reviews recent agency and organization municipal waste management studies, and concludes that a combination of waste-to-energy and recycling will provide a net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The overview includes analyses by the European Environment Agency (EEA), by Okopol, the German Institute for Ecology and Politics, by the German think-tank Prognos, and by the Dutch consultancy FFact, whose study concludes that “CO2 emissions would reduce further by up to 45 million tonnes per year, which is equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions of over 20 million cars, if Waste-to-Energy plant operators have the incentive to be classified as energy recovery by reaching these ambitious energy efficiency thresholds.” 11/25/2010


Columbia University & BioCycle Release State of Garbage Report

Waste to Energy Research and Technology CouncilBioCycle in collaboration with the Earth Engineering Center of Columbia University (EEC) conducts biennial State of Garbage in America (SOG) surveys. The 17th nationwide SOG Report was released late October, for calendar year 2008. Latest national data on municipal solid waste management find estimated generation is 389.5 million tons in 2008: 69 percent landfilled, 24 percent recycled and composted, and 7 percent combusted via waste-to-energy. National MSW generation dropped between 2006 and 2008, from 413 million tons in the 2008 State of Garbage Report to 389.5 million tons in this 2010 Report. This may be a reflection of the economic downturn, as well as the more detailed exclusion of non-MSW materials that was done in the survey of 2008 data. Average gate (“tipping”) fees have increased slightly since the 2008 SOG survey; landfill and WTE gate fees were, on average two dollars higher than in 2006, at $44.09 and $67.93 per ton of handled waste, respectively. The report is available free from EEC’s Waste to Energy Research and Technology Council, who maintains the SOFOS database of technical papers. 11/25/2010


New Chemical Route Reported for Biofuel from Biomass

Energy & Environmental SciencesA thorough review has been published by the Royal Chemical Society (RSC) in the current 12th edition of their Energy & Environmental Sciences journal, exploring a new pathway for conversion of biomass to biofuel. The review examnes production of hydroxylmethylfurfural (HMF), a key biorefining intermediate, from carbohydrate biomass feedstocks using the principle of concerted catalysis. Dehydration of fructose and glucose to HMF in non-aqueous media provides routes to kerosene and diesel-range biofuel intermediates from HMF or furfural. The study indicates that these reaction routes have not yet been commercialized. Free registration with RSC provides full access to the article. 11/25/2010


Report Touts Benefits of Expanded Investment Tax Credits for CHP

WADE USAEnergy efficiency in Conversion Technology can make the difference between an economical project, and a no-starter; efficient thermal applications can double useful energy output. On November 22, 2010, WADE USA and the U.S. Clean Heat & Power Association (USCHPA) released Effect of a 30 Percent Investment Tax Credit on the Economic Market Potential for Combined Heat and Power, an exploration of expanded investment tax for Combined Heat and Power (CHP). The analysis projects impacts of an expansion to the 10 percent ITC as well as the introduction of a 30 percent ITC for high efficiency CHP. The projected benefits include increased CHP deployment, energy savings, reduction in CO2 emissions and creation of over 17,000 jobs. 11/24/2010


 Malta Council for Science & Tech Launches 2011 Program

Malta Council for Science and TechnologyAbout 50 miles south of the Italian island of Cecily, the Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST) is accepting pre-proposal registration from parties interested in MCST’s National Research & Innovation Programme 2011, with a budget of €1.1 million. Formal proposals will be accepted until February 3, 2011. The focus of the program is technology transfer between academia and industry, in four priority sectors of Environment and Energy Resources, ICT, Value Added Manufacturing and Health and Biotech. Information sessions will be held on November 26, 2010 at Kalkara and December 3, 2010 at Villa Bighi. Free on-line registration is requested. The request will be divided into two stages: a preliminary proposal submission and evaluation, followed by short-listing to a final evaluation stage requiring a detailed proposal. Further details will be available on the MCST website after November 26th; questions should be addressed to the R&I Programme Manager by email at rtdi.mcst@gov.mt. 11/24/2010


UKRFA Seeks Comment for Carbon Calculator Update  

UK Renewable Fuels AgencyThe United Kingdom’s Renewable Fuels Agency (RFA) has scheduled a workshop to receive stakeholder input as they update their Carbon Calculator in time for the 2011-2012 reporting year. The workshop is scheduled in London for December 1, 2010. The calculator is a stand-alone program with default values for the carbon emissions for various types of biofuels, and allows fuel suppliers to calculate the carbon saved. A Guidance document is available, providing a link to the free carbon calculator software program for download. The calculator uses the RTFO lifecycle analysis methodology for Years 1 and 2 (2008/09 and 2009/10). The new Renewable Energy Directive (RED)-ready version applies the lifecycle analysis methodology laid out in the EU RED for Year 3 (2010/11). Contact c-and-s@rfa.gsi.gov.uk with questions or suggestions. 11/22/2010


CalRecycle’s MMLA Division Updates their Org Chart 

CalRecycleSB 63 combined California's recycling and waste diversion efforts within one Department under the Resources Agency as CalRecycle and Teru Talk covered their October 19, 2010 kick-off meeting. CalRecycle has just released a detailed update for the Materials Management and Local Assistance (MMLA) Division Organizational Chart. Under the realignment, MMLA has three Branches: Local Assistance and Market Development (LAMD), Financial Resources Management (FiRM), and Statewide Technical and Analytical Resources (STAR). The previous Department of Recycling (DOR) Comprehensive Recycling Communities, Regional Recycling Assistance, and Technical Assistance programs are joining the old CIWMB’s local assistance programs, in LAMD. All Grant-related functions now will be management by FiRM. The DOR’s Sustainable Materials & Research unit, which focused on research related to bioplastics and beverage containers, is joining the STAR Branch. CalRecycle welcomes feedback about the reorganization. 11/22/2010


San Bernardino and Kern Counties Train Veterans for Renewable Energy Jobs 

Green Energy JobsSan Bernardino County's Workforce Investment Board (WIB) is partnering with Kern County's Employment Training Resource Department and their WIB to fund training in the renewable energy industry for veterans, to find Green jobs by June 30, 2012. Kern County was awarded almost $1MM from a Veterans Employment-Related Assistance Program grant last May; San Bernardino County’s press release announced they had entered a cooperative contract with Kern County on November 16, 2010. Both counties see a lot of green energy programs in their High Desert region. The joint county program will pay an employer to provide on-the-job training for a veteran, and veterans can also get the training through colleges or other organizations and have tuition paid by the program. Veterans can register on-line through either County’s WIB program, or go to one of the department's employment resource centers. 11/22/2010


Clean Energy Coalition Proposes Energy Independence Trust

American Council on Renewable EnergyProject 2011 was announced yesterday at a conference entitled The “Future of Energy Reform” in Washington, D.C. by the Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAPAF), Coalition for Green Capital (CGC) and the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE). The coalition has presented a joint position paper, "Cutting the Cost of Clean Energy", to the 112th Congress proposing to create an Energy Independence Trust which could borrow from the federal treasury to provide low-cost financing to private-sector investments in clean energy. The Trust would hold sufficient reserves to protect the Treasury from loan losses, and would be able to offer a variety of debt and equity-based financial instruments, loan guarantees, and tax incentives to draw a wave of private capital into the clean energy sector. 11/17/2010


UNECE and FAO Release 2009-2010 Forest Products Market Review

Forest Product Market Report for 2009-2010Sustainable biomass feedstock comes from certified-sustainable practices, and is increasingly demanded in the international marketplace for production of renewable bioenergy and biofuels. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Region and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (UNECE/FAO) has released their Forest Product Market Report for 2009-2010. The overview describes the economic situation of forest products markets in the region, presents policy implications of market developments in five standard sectors: wood raw materials, sawn softwood, sawn hardwood, wood-based panels and paper and paperboard. Chapters discuss markets for wood energy, certified forest products, carbon, value-added wood products and tropical timber. One good-news finding: sustainable forest certification systems are converging to conform to equivalent international standards. 11/17/2010


US EPA Finalizes Rule for GHG Reporting Requirements 

US Environmental Protection AgencyOn November 8, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) finalized their Reporting Requirements Rule for the Petroleum and Natural Gas Industries for Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. The data will provide comparative GHG emissions to other major non-petroleum emissions sources such as biorefineries and biofuel-driven power generation. As Subpart W of the EPA’s broad GHG Reporting Program, the data collection and reporting will help identify cost effective ways to minimize the loss of methane. Beginning in January 1, 2011, petroleum and natural gas facilities that emit more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year are required to monitor and report all greenhouse gas emissions to the EPA, with first annual reports due March 31, 2012. Also on November 8, 2010, EPA Administrator Jackson signed the final Rule for reporting certain fluorinated greenhouse gases (fluorinated GHGs). 11/14/2010 


US EPA Releases Draft Guidance for PSD and Title V Permitting   

US EPAThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) released a draft guidance document for comment on November 10, 2010. Its purpose is to assist permitting authorities, facilities, and stakeholders through the permitting requirements of the May 10, 2010 GhG Tailoring Rule for greenhouse gas emissions (GhG) under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V (New Source Review) federal permitting programs. The guidance tools address Best Available Control Technology (BACT) evaluations for GhG, provides seven sector-specific examples of industrial control options, and updates the agency’s Clearinghouse to address GhG. It also launches the "GHG Mitigation Strategies Database," which includes performance and cost data on current and developing control measures, but only for electric generating and cement production processes now. One significant change: the draft outlines ways bioenergy/biofuel conversion and industrial efficiency improvement may be accepted in BACT GhG reduction strategies. A two week comment period will start when the Draft is formally noticed in the Federal Register, anticipated for later this week. For more  information on the permitting guidance for GHGs, contact Dave Svendsgaard at 919-541-2380, or svendsgaard.dave@epa.gov. 11/13/2010 


Global Biofuels Alliance Seeks Members 

Global Biofuels AllianceEarlier this year the non-profit trade association Global Biofuels Alliance (GBA) was established to represent small to midsize biofuels producers, traders, marketers, distributors, and other stakeholders, to ensure that federal policy and policy makers respond to the issues facing its members. This month, GBA launched its new website and began seeking members to participate in shaping the GBA’s advocacy agenda and strategy. GBA’s current focus is to advocate for reinstating and extending the Federal Biodiesel Blenders Tax Credit. Membership currently provides access to Tier 1 Health Effects testing data for Biofuels. Contact: Theresa Walsh, Secretary, at info@globalbiofuels.org or (814) 528-9067. 11/13/2010 


NETL Launches Worldwide Gasification Database 

DOE National Energy Technology LaboratoryThe U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has launched the on-line, free service 2010 Worldwide Gasification Database with Summary Report. For each gasification-based energy and chemical project, the database information includes owner/operator, gasification technology vendor, and suppliers of supporting technologies. The database classifies plants based on their status as development, engineering, construction, start-up, or commercial operating. The news release tallies 144 operating plants with a total of 412 gasifiers, 11 plants, with 17 gasifiers, are presently under construction, and an additional 37 plants, with 76 gasifiers, are in the planning stages. Most will use coal or other petroleum feedstock; nine plants are profiled that use biomass and/or waste as feedstock. 11/13/2010 


DOE Creates Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Advisory Committee 

US Department of EnergyThe U.S. Department of Energy announced on November 10, 2010 the establishment of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Advisory Committee (ERAC), formed as a federal advisory committee whose members will report directly to the Secretary of Energy. ERAC will periodically review the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) for completion of long-range plans, priorities and strategies; program funding; and any issues of specific concern. This will include oversight of EERE’s Biomass R&D program. ERAC is expected to meet twice a year; the meetings will be open to the public. For more information on ERAC members and their charter, visit the ERAC Website. 11/13/2010 


California ARB Releases LCFS v2.0 Reporting Tools

ARB Low Carbon Fuel Standard ProgramWith survival of AB 32 at the polls, the California Air Resources Board’s (ARB) Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program (LCFS) has released the official version of the LCFS Reporting Tool, LCSF RT Production v20.0, to help regulated parties meet the reporting requirements. Information on the requirements was provided in a recent Regulatory Advisory for 2010 reporting. Data entered into LCFS RT Production v2.0 is accepted as an official submission for reporting purposes. A Test v2.0 tool is available (and advised) for practice, before formal submission. ARB will review and verify company registration requests prior to each account activation. 11/12/2010 

Planning Commission to Consider Liberty Energy Center Approval
Liberty Energy, IncLiberty Energy Resources, Inc is planning to upgrade its Liberty Composting operation near Lost Hills, California to a renewable bioenergy production facility. The proposed improvements became necessary to meet the local Air District’s more stringent controls on Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emissions. Liberty Energy Center intends to gasify about 2,000 tons per day of biosolids and biomass from their current composting operation for power generation and advanced waste management. The Kern County Planning Department circulated the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for public comment in June 2010, and has just released their Response to Comments. The Kern County Planning Commission hearing to consider certification of the EIR and project approval is scheduled for November 11, 2010 in the Kern County Administrative Center, Bakersfield, California. The Staff Report is available here. Contact Jaymie Brauer at (661) 862-8629 for more information. 11/10/2010  

DoD Schedules SERDP Funding Opportunities Webinar

DoD Strategic Environmental Research and Development ProgramLinking bio-remediation to biopower generation looks like a hot topic for the Military: The United States Department of Defense's (DoD) Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) has released two solicitations for environmental research and development proposals. A "SERDP Funding Opportunities" webinar is scheduled for November 16, 2010, at 12:00 p.m. EST; pre-registration is required. Program areas include: (1) Core SERDP Solicitation provides funding in varying amounts for multi-year projects; non-federal pre-proposals are due January 6, 2011. (2) SERDP Exploratory Development (SEED) Solicitation, due March 10, 2011, provide a limited amount of funding (not to exceed $150,000) for projects up to one year for high technical risk projects requiring data to provide proof of concept; successful projects are in line for additional funding. Researchers from federal organizations, universities, and private industry are eligible to apply. SERDP focused Statements of Need which for the 2012 cycle include Environmental Restoration, for research and technologies for the characterization, risk assessment, remediation, and management of contaminants in soil, sediments and water. 11/10/2010


US EPA Region 9 Signs Revised SIPs for both South Coast, SJV  

US Environmental Protection AgencyBiofuels are attractive in part because they produce far less sulfur and particulate emissions than most petroleum based fuels, whether used for transportation, power generation, or as hydrocarbon feedstock for standard refineries. The US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) has once again taken action to up the ante, especially for particulates: US EPA Region 9 announced signing of proposed Rules on November 8, 2010, approving some parts and disapproving other parts of Statewide Implementation Plans (SIPs) submitted in 2008 for California's San Joaquin Valley air basin, and in 2007 for the South Coast air basin. Both state plans tighten air quality controls, especially for particulates in the PM 2.5 (or 2.5 micron) range and for soot-causing sulfur from refineries and large industrial facilities. The new restrictions would effectively cut allowances in half for the South Coast Air Basin. In both cases, EPA wants stronger “curbs” on transport emissions. A 60 day public comment period will open once the proposed Rules are published in the Federal Register. EPA’s actions will go into effect early in 2011, subject to review of comments. 11/9/2010


DOE Presents 2nd Biomass Program Webinar on Advanced Biofuels

National Advanced Biofuels ConsortiumThe Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy will present the second in their Biomass Program’s webinar series: Advanced Biofuels Research Pathways, on November 18, 2010, from 3:00-4:30 pm EST. The free on-line presentation will provide an overview of the Biomass Program's ongoing advanced biofuels research including biochemical and thermochemical conversions. The webinar will also describe National Advanced Biofuels Consortium (NABC) research, development, and demonstration of process technology strategies to convert biomass into feedstock for petroleum refineries. Space is limited; registration through the program website is required. 11/8/2010


Proposed Eco-Village Will Include Waste to Biofuels

BREDAIntegrating waste-to-biofuels into their plans, a Belgian company Meldynique Group has acquired 640 acres of the Laughlin Ranch near Bullhead City, Arizona, and will soon start the planning and permitting process. “Becoville” (from Bullhead City Ecological Village) Laughlin Ranch will be “a completely self-sustainable community of energy-efficient housing, water, biofuel, waste and agriculture, including organic produce”, according to the Bullhead Regional Economic Development Authority (BREDA). A hydroponic greenhouse will be constructed to produce organic vegetables and atmospheric potable water, and will feature aquaculture and a biofuel plant to manage all organic waste from development of the sites. A 10 megawatt solar farm integrated into the greenhouse roofs will be built, and will sell excess energy that is not used by the development. 11/8/2010


NREL Launches Online BioEnergy Atlas   

Bioenergy AtlasThe US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) issued a press release and launched their new bioenergy tool package September 28, 2010, something many of us simply missed. The program is free, and well worth reviewing. NREL's new BioEnergy Atlas is a web-based suite of Geographic Information System (GIS) tools built in Google Maps that lets users view a variety of biomass related data including feedstocks, EPA sites, bioenergy plants (biofuels, biopower), oil refineries, traditional power plants, alternative fuel stations, vehicle densities, railroads, and other boundary layers. Also provided is an explanation of tool set, with links to the BioFuels and BioPower components. 11/7/2010

LA County Public Works Submits Preliminary CT Siting Assessment
Southern California ConversionThe Los Angeles County Department of Public Works (LAPW) submitted a Preliminary Conversion Technology Site Assessment to the Board of Supervisors on October 20, 2010 at their request. The report on locating a conversion technology facility within Los Angeles County was prepared under the guidance of the LAPW's Integrated Waste Management Task Force’s Alternative Technology Assessment Subcommittee (ATAS). Eleven stakeholders submitted 16 sites to the LAPW for consideration. The assessment considered site acreage, existing infrastructure, utilities, proximity to power and gas transmission lines, proximity to sensitive ecological areas, zoning, and other factors, to establish a basis for future, more detailed technical and environmental assessments. The next ATAS meeting is set for November 18, 2010; see the ATAS’ website for more details. 11/04/2010

RETScreen Software Available Free From Natural Resources Canada  

RETScreen Clean EnergyRETScreen Clean Energy Project Analysis Software (RETScreen) is an interactive, standardized renewable energy project assessment and decision support tool provided for international usage by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). RETScreen currently helps 269,862 users in 222 countries evaluate the energy production and savings, costs, emission reductions, financial viability and risk for various types of renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies (RETs). The free software (available in multiple languages) also includes product, project, hydrology and climate databases, a detailed user manual, and a case study based college and university-level training course, including an engineering e-textbook. NRCan's 2011 RETScreen Annual Conference & Training Institute is scheduled for June 20-22, 2011 in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada with the aim of "broadening and deepening" RETScreen usage world-wide. 11/04/2010

ISCC Certification Training Scheduled in Brazil and Germany

International Sustainability and Carbon CertificationThe International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) organization provides a cost effective global process for certification of biomass, biofuels and bioenergy regarding sustainability, carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions along the entire supply chain. The certification is designed for implementation in all international locations and markets. At this time, 157 companies have registered for an ISCC certification; the majority is from Germany and other EU countries, while 52 certificates have been issued, half of them in Germany. The certified companies comply with the legal sustainability requirements which become applicable on the first of January 2011. Training sessions are still available, scheduled for November in Brazil and December in Germany. 11/4/2010


IEA to Launch World Energy Outlook   

International Energy AgencyThe International Energy Agency (IEA) will soon release its annual flagship publication, The World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2010, developed by IEA Chief Economist, Fatih Birol. Updated projections are provided for energy demand, production, trade and investment, fuel by fuel and region by region to 2035. The WEO anticipates future actions by governments to meet the commitments they have made to tackle climate change and growing energy insecurity, and discusses what role renewables can play in a clean and secure energy future. The formal announcement will be made during a November 9, 2010 press conference in London.11/4/2010

CEC gets SLICE Award for Onion Waste-to-Energy
Clean Energy States AllianceThe Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), has presented two national awards for "State Leadership in Clean Energy" (SLICE) to the California Energy Commission (CEC). The first award recognized CEC's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program for supporting Gill's Onions' Waste-to-Energy plant in Oxnard, California with $499,921 in grant funding. The plant's Advanced Energy Recovery System (AERS) uses anaerobic digestion to convert agricultural waste to biogas. The biogas feeds two 300-kilowatt fuel cells that provide 75% of the plant's electrical demand, saving over 100,000 cubic feet of natural gas a year, and 40,000 gallons of diesel fuel not needed to haul away the 150 tons per day of agricultural processing waste. The second award was for the CEC's Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative, which the CESA called "a big step forward in transmission planning". 11/02/2010
Biomass to Energy Field Tour Scheduled
Woody Biomass to Energy Field TourA tour of northern California woody biomass to energy plants has been arranged for November 17, 2010. The tour will be from 9am to 5pm, and is open to the public. The tour is sponsored by the California Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils, UC Berkeley Cooperative Extension, USDA Forest Service State and Private Forestry, Central Sacramento Valley RC&D, and the California Biomass Collaborative. The tour is the follow-up to the Woody Biomass to Energy Workshop that was held in Oroville on September 14, 2010, and will include walk-throughs of the SPI sawmill and power plant in Lincoln, West Biofuels in Winters and the CPC Biomax gasification unit at Dixon Ridge Farms. The tour will begin in the Lincoln area by chartered motor coach. Lunch will be provided. Advance registration is required and closes November 12th. There is a $20 fee for the tour, payable in advance. Walk-ins will not be accepted. 11/02/2010
  Update: See the Teru Focus Report on the tour.

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