OXFORD, N.C.–The Biofuels Center of North Carolina announced it will award up to $1.1 million for projects that address identified areas of critical need related to the acceleration of the renewable fuels industry in western North Carolina. The 2012-2013 targeted biofuels development funding program—Catalyzing Products in Western North Carolina—will utilize a significant portion of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) settlement funds that were directed to the Center by the North Carolina General Assembly in the 2012 legislative session. Awards will be determined through a competitive, peer-review process. Expert panels comprised of industry, nonprofits, and state agency representatives will review applications and make funding recommendations for approval by the Biofuels Center Board of Directors. The deadline for bid submissions is Monday, 25 February 2013.
Through the targeted funding program, the Center seeks western projects that address specific areas of need, including biomass-growing, harvesting, logistics, and facility site analysis required to move the biofuels sector from early intentions to larger outcomes. Each eligible project has detailed specifications.
The program will fund projects based in or directly benefiting one or more of the following counties: Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Davie, Gaston, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Iredell, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Surry, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes, Yadkin, and Yancey.
Western North Carolina holds large potential for biofuels crop-growing and production, said Biofuels Center president and CEO Steven Burke. “The region’s wood and crop resources, growing public and private participants, and strong commitment can contribute to biofuels development in coming years. We expect good outcomes from this targeted funding program to assist those resources in western North Carolina.”
The Biofuels Center awarded $1,070,599 to western North Carolina partners as part of its 2012-2013 grants program, Strengthening Feedstocks, Production, and Products in Western North Carolina, on 16 January 2013.
Strengthening and funding capabilities statewide for biofuels production is a prime task of the Biofuels Center, a private nonprofit corporation funded by the North Carolina General Assembly to develop large capacity for biofuels statewide in coming years. The Center, located on North Carolina’s Biofuels Campus in Oxford, implements sustained state policy, assists companies and all parties within the biofuels community, and works to meet North Carolina’s goal: By 2017, 10 percent of the state’s liquid transportation fuels will come from biofuels grown and produced within the state.