‘No Thanks’ to $1 Million Biodiesel Grant

John Davis

It’s not very often that you hear about a biodiesel firm turning down $1 million in the form of a government grant, but a green fuel maker in Pennsylvania seems to have some practical reasons for saying “thanks, but no thanks” to the money.

This story from the Binghamton (NY) Press & Sun-Bulletin says Alternative Fuels Inc. turned down the $1 million Pennsylvania grant to start an algae biodiesel fuel plant but will still produce biodiesel in the state:

Late last month, [Richard Smith, the business’s principal] told the DEP he would not be using the grant and to make it available to someone else, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Charles Young said. The DEP asked for the request in writing and has not heard back from Smith.

Smith did not receive any money from the grant because he had not begun producing biodiesel at the required level, Young said. The company was expected to produce more than 25,000 gallons of algae-based fuel a day.

Smith had problems producing algae-based fuel and instead began using waste oil, generating enough biodiesel to receive a relatively small $480 grant from Pennsylvania, Young said.

Under a program initiated last summer, Smith also is eligible to receive 75 cents a gallon from Pennsylvania, or up to $1.9 million a year, if he produces at least 25,000 gallons of biodiesel a month, Young said.

The article goes on to say that Alternative Fuels does plan to take advantage of that conventional biodiesel credit.