Cool Planet Energy Systems was issued a $91MM conditional commitment from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for a loan guarantee to support construction of the company's first commercial manufacturing plant in Alexandria, Louisiana.
“The Cool Planet process provides real solutions to some of today's most important energy, food and water challenges,” said Cool Planet CEO Howard Janzen. “Our first commercial plant will produce renewable fuels by converting wood chips into high octane gasoline and aromatic blendstocks that are chemically identical to fossil fuels. From this process, we will also produce a co-product called CoolTerra™ which is an advanced soil amendment. CoolTerra™ enables agricultural producers to retain water and nutrients in soil to increase crop yields, and in drought conditions, to maintain their crop yields with significantly less water and fertilizer.”
In making the announcement of the loan guarantee to Cool Planet, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said, "This partnership is the latest example of the Obama Administration’s continuing support for innovative, home-grown energy sources. USDA’s support for renewable energy projects like this helps create jobs in rural areas, promotes U.S. energy independence, and leads to further expansion of the growing and increasingly significant bioeconomy – all while reducing carbon pollution and other greenhouse gases.”
"We expect to work closely with the USDA as we bring this commercial facility online," said Janzen. “The umbrella of a supportive and consistent federal government policy is important to the initial commercialization of our technology. We expect this commercial plant to be the first of hundreds of plants that our company will build across the United States.”
Cool Planet broke ground on its first commercial facility at the Port of Alexandria earlier this year. Site preparation and detailed engineering design work is currently underway, and the company expects to start construction before the end of the year. Construction of the initial plant is expected to be completed by the end of 2015 with commercial operations beginning in early 2016. The USDA financing could play a role both in the first commercial deployment in Alexandria and subsequent expansion.
(Photo Credit: Cool Planet's Facebook Page)