USDA Teams Up with GE for Renewable Energy

General Electric Aviation plans to buy $5 million worth of biofuels for its jets beginning in 2015, thanks to a partnership with the USDA. The two are collaborating with the Ohio Aerospace Institute, air carriers and producer groups to develop a Midwest-regional strategy to provide renewable-jet fuel at GE Aviation’s Cincinnati-area facilities. This USDA press release features Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack discussing how this will help provide new jobs to farming areas:

“We have an incredible opportunity to create thousands of new jobs and drive economic development in rural communities across America by developing innovative ways to use agricultural products to help reduce our reliance on foreign oil,” said Vilsack. “USDA’s collaboration with General Electric Aviation will bring together multiple sectors of Ohio’s economy, including agricultural producers, to foster new innovations in the field of renewable fuels while bolstering new economic opportunities in the Midwest. USDA is proud to work alongside private and public institutions to support the research, creation and distribution of next generation energy solutions.”

This comes on the heels of the USDA giving a Value Added Producer Grant to the Ohio Soybean Council for a pilot project at Ohio State University’s Bioproducts Innovation Center to refine bio-jet fuel from soybean oil. In addition, the Farm Service Agency is working in northeastern Ohio and northwestern Pennsylvania to turn some non-food crops into biofuels through the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP).

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