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Friday, June 12, 2009

USDA announces funding for Biomass Crop Assistance Program

From an article on Farm Energy:

Today, June 11, USDA issued a Notice of Funds for Availability (NOFA) for the Collection, Harvest, Storage and Transportation (CHST) portion of the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). You can read the official notice here. Funding for the remaining components of BCAP (annual and establishment payments) will be announced in the final rule at a later date. . . .

Collection, Harvest Storage and Transportation Assistance
The CHST payments under BCAP provide biomass producers or owners with a $1 for $1 matching payment when they deliver biomass to a biomass conversion facility. For each dollar a biomass producer receives from the facility, the USDA will pay an additional dollar, up to $45 per dry ton, for up to 2 years. This payment is intended to help biomass producers with the costs of biomass collection, harvest, storage and transportation.

A biomass producer or owner can be the owner of the land where the biomass is produced or a person with the right to collect or harvest biomass off of the land, such as a renter or contractor.

A biomass conversion facility is any facility using biomass to produce heat, power, biobased products or next-generation biofuels like cellulosic ethanol or biomass pellets.

There is broad eligibility for the types of biomass eligible for payments. The only specific exclusions are biomass from state and federal lands, commodity grains and fibers, animal wastes and by-products, food and yard waste and algae. However, only 20% of funding made available for CHST payments (estimated to be $25 million for 2009 but may increase) can go to residues from Title I commodity crops.

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