Sugarcane Promising Source for Energy in California

Joanna Schroeder

California Ethanol & Power (CE&P) has commissioned a study to better understand the role sugarcane and sweet sorghum may play in producing ethanol and electricity for the state of California. The Economic Impact Analysis report was conducted by Solution Mountain, Inc., and sponsored in part by the Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation along with the California Association for Local Economic Development. The goal of the report was to ascertain the economic relationship of construction-related activities and ongoing business operations with respect to jobs, gross economic output, capital income and taxes as part of CE&P’s sugarcane and sweet sorghum-to-ethanol and electricity program.

“CE&P will provide substantial economic stimulus and benefits to Imperial County, CA, which has recently shown the highest unemployment rate and lowest economic health rating in the U.S,” said Dave Rubenstein, Chief Operating Officer.

According to the analysis, the estimated benefits, measured through the construction phases and the first year of operation of CE&P’s initial plant are $946 million of gross economic output, $562 million of gross county product, $334 million of total labor income, 8,847 full and part time direct and indirect jobs, capital income of $182 million, and indirect business taxes and fees totaling $46 million, with a projected total five-year impact of more than $2 billion.

CE&P’s business strategy is to own and operate facilities that will convert sugarcane grown year round on 40,000 acres and seasonally gown sweet sorghum on 30,000 acres producing 55 million gallons of ethanol, 40.9 megawatts of electricity, and 880 million cubic feet of bio-methane per year.

Cellulosic, Electricity, Ethanol, sorghum