US-headed advanced renewable fuel and biochemicals company Aemetis Inc. has announced that its ‘Carbon Zero’ biofuels production process has received a total of US$16.8 million of solar energy and other energy efficiency grants to fund upgrades of the Keyes, California (CA) plant to support the production of zero-carbon renewable fuel. The renewable energy and efficiency projects funded by the grants have been launched into the design, permitting, construction, and commissioning process.
Launched earlier this month, Aemetis Carbon Zero production plants commercialize patented technology exclusive to Aemetis for agricultural and forest waste wood feedstock. Carbon Zero plants are integrated with existing Aemetis production facilities to produce energy-dense renewable fuels using renewable energy and below zero carbon intensity waste feedstocks.
Aemetis expects that such renewable fuels, when used in hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) or other vehicle engines, will have a “below zero-carbon” greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint across the entire lifecycle of the fuel based on the Argonne National Laboratory’s Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Technologies (GREET) model, the pre-eminent science-based lifecycle analysis (LCA) model.
The award of a combined US$16.8 million of California Energy Commission (CEC) and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) energy efficiency programs to fund the ‘Carbon Zero 1’ biofuels plant reflects government and utility industry support for our mission to reduce greenhouse gases. We are installing a large solar array with battery storage and using other renewable energy sources to power new electricity-powered systems, replacing equipment that uses high carbon intensity petroleum natural gas and upgrading less efficient heat transfer systems, said Eric McAfee, Chairman, and CEO of Aemetis.
The projects supported by grant funding will provide an estimated US$18 million per year of increased margin, equal to about US$0.75 net income per share each year.
These Carbon Zero plant upgrades at the Keyes plant are an integrated part of producing below zero carbon biofuels from agricultural waste wood. By combining below zero carbon waste wood with zero-carbon renewable energy obtained from solar, hydroelectric, and biogas sources, Aemetis is transforming these sources of renewable energy into zero-carbon renewable fuels to power existing engines and to fuel range extender generators used in electric cars and trucks, Eric McAfee said.
The Carbon Zero 1 plant renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades to the Aemetis plant include funding and other support from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the US Forest Service, the CEC, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and PG&E.