This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

June 18, 2003

Illinois Passes Biodiesel Tax Incentive and Grants Package

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich signed legislation last week that will provide a partial state sales tax exemption of 20 percent on biodiesel blends containing from one to ten percent biodiesel. The legislative package also established the Illinois Renewable Fuels Development Program, which offers grants up to $15 million annually for constructing, modifying, altering, or retrofitting a renewable fuels plant with a minimum production capacity of 30 million gallons.

According to the Illinois Soybean Association, the legislation will add five cents per bushel to the price of Illinois soybeans. Illinois produces 450 million bushels of soybeans per year. See the National Biodiesel Board press release (PDF 114 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.

Southern states are also developing more biodiesel projects, according to Southern States Power, a minority owner of Delta Green Power, LLC, which announced last week that the company is purchasing three two-megawatt biodiesel fuel generators to provide electricity and thermal energy to industrial clients in the Delta region of Mississippi. See the Southern States Power press release.

In Albany, Georgia, Southern Company is combining biomass energy with coal energy to reduce power plant emissions. The company is experimenting with the best blend by pulverizing and mixing switchgrass and other local grasses with varying amounts of coal. Previous studies at the company's plants have shown that mixing in switchgrass reduces emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and mercury in coal-fired plants. See Southern Company's press release.