PA offers funding for alternative fuel projects

By Kris Bevill | July 15, 2010
Posted July 21, 2010

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is making funding available through the state's Alternative Fuel Incentive Grant program for projects focused on advancing biofuels production and infrastructure expansions. The DEP is accepting applications until Aug. 27 for grants in four categories: Fleet Vehicle Purchases, Retrofits and Refueling Equipment for Alternative Fuel Vehicles; Innovative Technology Grants; Incremental Cost to Purchase Biofuels and Equipment Purchase or Tank Cleaning and without Equipment Purchase or Tank Cleaning; and Reimbursement for Biofuel Production.

While many of the grant applications will likely focus on biodiesel projects, ethanol production facilities qualify for the producer reimbursement credit. Applicants that produce at least 100,000 gallons per year are eligible to receive up to 10 cents per gallon of fuel produced, up to 12.5 million gallons, for a 12-month period. To be eligible, however, the production facility must be located in Pennsylvania. To date, there is only one commercial-scale ethanol production facility in Pennsylvania - Bionol Clearfield LLC, a 110 MMgy plant located in Clearfield.

Eligible applicants in the innovative technology category include projects to research, develop and test advanced fuel cell engines and projects to research, develop and test advanced catalysts, enzymes or fuels. Projects that support the building or deployment of conventional biofuels facilities, however, are not eligible for grant money under this category.

In the incremental cost and tank cleaning category, the DEP is offering to reimburse non-profit corporations and school districts for incremental costs incurred by them when purchasing biodiesel or E85, as well as costs to make fuel storage tanks useable for biodiesel or E85. Proposed projects must not exceed $1 million and must be located in Pennsylvania. The entity must also commit to using the equipment for dispensing the specified fuel - either E85 or a biodiesel blend greater than B2 - for the entire grant period.

Complete program guidelines can be viewed at the DEP's website.