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Mendota Bioenergy awarded $1.5m grant

In California, the US, Mendota Bioenergy has become the latest company to receive a grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC) in a bid to develop more renewable energy projects in the region.

The $1.5 million (€1.12 million) grant will see Mendota Bioenergy test the feasibility of converting sugar beets and agricultural waste into ethanol and other forms of clean energy,

Should the test results come back positive, the company could begin producing 33.5 million gallons a year of ethanol from 840,000 tonnes of sugar beets and 80,000 tonnes of farm waste. The project would also generate 1.6 million cubic feet of biomethane for use as compressed natural gas (CNG) and 6.3MW of renewable electricity, in addition to compost and liquid fertiliser.

Together the ethanol and CNG will replace an estimated 23 million gallons of petrol and diesel annually. Around 250 direct and 50 indirect construction jobs would be created, in addition to 50 permanent positions at the facility itself and 50 more in feedstock operations.