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BCAP application deadline extended

In the US, the deadline for applications to participate in the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) has been extended until 16 September 2011. This allows agricultural producers in the counties of Ashtabula, Lake, Geauga and Trumbill to apply.

The BCAP offers financial support to farmers who grow biomass. As part of the project, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will award $5.7 million (€3.9 million) to farmers in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

'The Biomass Crop Assistance Program will help bring new jobs to Northeast Ohio while supporting production of a home-grown, clean energy source. I encourage interested farmers to contact their local FSA office before the September 16 deadline,' says US Senator Sherrod Brown.

'This investment will create jobs, support our agricultural heritage, and reduce our dangerous and unsustainable dependence on foreign oil. From offshore wind energy in Lake Erie, solar energy production in Northwest Ohio, and now biomass growth in Northeast Ohio, it's clear that our state is leading the way in clean energy development.'

Aloterra Energy sponsors the project and says it will enter into agreements with miscanthus growers. Under these contracts, Aloterra will acquire the miscanthus, convert it and sell the end product. This will produce three forms of revenue for the participating farmers: (1) tonnage payments; (2) carbon credits; and (3) profit sharing from the conversion facility. Farmers will also earn BCAP rent payments based on the number of acres they utilise.

Aloterra owns a conversion plant in Conneaut where the miscanthus will be made into electricity.