Maine wood pellet companies rewarded by USDA for efforts in biofuels

Posted Aug. 02, 2012, at 5:19 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Three Maine wood pellet manufacturing companies have received funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to encourage the production of advanced biofuels from waste products.

Geneva Wood Fuels of Strong received $2,236, Maine Woods Pellets Co. of Athens was awarded $6,277 and Northeast Pellets of Ashland received $624, the USDA announced Monday.

“I’m pleased that the USDA Rural Development can continue to provide support to Maine’s wood pellet manufacturers, which provides our residents with a renewable source of fuel and ultimately lessens our dependence on foreign fuel sources while supporting local business,” said Maine’s director of USDA Rural Development Virginia Manuel.

The funding is provided through the USDA’s Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels, according to a department press release. Awards are given to producers based on the amount of biofuel they produce from renewable biomass, excluding corn kernel starch. Examples of eligible sources include crop residue, animal and food waste, vegetable oil and animal fat.

“These payments represent the hard work the private sector is doing to help spur an alternative fuels industry using renewable feedstocks, and help create an economy built to last,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.

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