But the big plans were called off for a
Now after that huge false start, the biofuels industry may yet impact
The Sweet Sorghum Ethanol & Green Power Plant will operate year-round and employ about 50 full-time employees at the factory and about 150 to 200 employees involved in the agricultural aspect of the project, he said.
"This is our first one, but we do have plans to build as many as three of these [ethanol production facilities] in
They are currently looking at locations in
Pepper said the
"We are more of the traditional. We model ourselves after the Brazilian-style ethanol plant using liquid sugars obtained from not sugar cane, but sweet sorghum in our case," he said.
Highlands EnviroFuels manager and U.S. Envirofuels President
"The project is still alive and we are still moving it forward," he said. "We have kept a fairly low profile the last couple of years primarily because of the political instability with ethanol."
The oil industry has attempted to discredit the ethanol industry and has pushed for a repeal of the federal Renewable Fuels Standard, which has hindered investment in the ethanol industry, Krohn explained.
"We have revised the scope of the project, but it is still an advanced biofuels facility that we are planning on building," he said. "It may be ethanol or it may be some different type of advanced biofuel."
Currently they are working on the detailed design engineering for the facility, Krohn said. "We still have local growers as investors and we brought in additional growers from
The EDC is looking into various ways of bringing the industry to
The biggest focus is on developing seed crops and seeing if farmers can be enticed to grow them, Weeks said. Then hopefully a manufacturing facility could be built locally.
Education for a growth industry
BioEnergy Program lead instructor
Along with Southeast Renewable's plans for more facilities, it seems there are going to be some good opportunities within the region, she said.
The SFSC BioEnergy Program will be educating the technicians who will be working in the biofuels production plants, Birch said. The program's other component, biomass cultivation, ties in with the strong agricultural history of the region with a look to the future.
The current local focus is on ethanol, but biodiesel is important as well, Birch said.
The Indian River BioEnergy Center was built on a former
Commercial-scale production began at the center in
The center cost more than
"They are like visitors," she said. "They are coming to town; they are staying in hotels; they are eating in restaurants."
The plant employed several hundred people in the community when it was being built and now it has an employee base that contributes to the local economy, Chandler noted.
Also, it is taking carbon-based waste out of the waste stream and creating another product, which is another positive for the community, she said.
Fuels America reports that the renewable fuel sector, including conventional and cellulosic ethanol, biodiesel and advanced biofuels and their suppliers generate
Fuels America states that it is a coalition of organizations committed to protecting America's Renewable Fuel Standard and promoting the benefits of all types of renewable fuel already growing in America.
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