Monday, December 1, 2008

Bioenergy Hot Spot: Meigs, Georgia

From the December Forest 2 Market Newsletter:

On November 20, when Woodlands Alternative Fuels announced that it would build a wood pellet plant in Meigs, Georgia, few were surprised. Like Woodlands Alternative, many bioenergy companies have been flocking to Georgia over the last couple of years. There have been so many, in fact, that the state has dubbed a large swath of the state the Bioenergy Corridor. Many credit the state’s Bioenergy One Stop Shop with this success.

In April 2006, Georgia formed the Georgia Renewable Energy One-Stop Shop. The One-Stop Shop, which is now part of the Georgia Center for Innovation in Agriculture, holds working meetings in which pre-screened businesses are given an opportunity to present and discuss their bioenergy projects with representatives from over 20 state and federal agencies. The companies leave with the contacts they need to get started. The resulting streamlined permitting process takes just 90 days in most cases.

Georgia has also adopted income tax credits to offset the costs of installing biomass power plants and other renewable energy technologies. The credit covers up to 35 percent of the cost of a solar, wind, geothermal, or biomass installations. For businesses, the ceiling for the credit is $500,000, though the credit cannot exceed tax liability. Taxpayers are also eligible for credits resulting from the transportation of wood waste to biomass facilities on a per-ton basis.

When Woodlands Alternative opens in June 2009, it will join three other pellet plants (including Fram Renewables), a cellulosic ethanol industry led by Range Fuels (which is currently building the first commercial scale facility to produce ethanol from wood), and multiple wood-based power plants (like the one that Rollcast Energy will build to supply Santee Cooper with electricity). Because of these projects and others like them, we select Georgia as our Bioenergy Hot Spot this month.

Another article - link1 link2

Looks like the wood pellet industry is growing more and more. As the article states, this will be the 4th pellet plant in Georgia once it is up and running. Plus, it is in our own backyard.
- R.J.

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