For Immediate Release: February 27, 2013
Media Contact: Alison apRoberts - 916-654-4989


Energy Commission to Consider Funding of Nearly $5 Million
for Fresno County Biorefinery
Project Would Convert Sugar Beets Into Biofuel

SACRAMENTO - At its business meeting Thursday morning, the California Energy Commission will consider awarding $4,998,399 to Mendota Bioenergy, LLC.

The award would be for the design, construction and operation of an advanced biorefinery demonstration plant. The project is slated to use advanced technology to convert 10,000 tons of sugar beets into 285,000 gallons of advanced biofuel ethanol. Sugar beets are plentiful in the area, and were processed at a Mendota sugar plant until it closed in 2008. This project supports the design and development of a future biorefinery center in Mendota (Fresno County). Eventually, the facility could produce 40 million gallons of biofuel annually.

The project is expected to create more than 250 jobs during construction, roughly 100 long-term positions in operations, and more than 150 labor and agricultural jobs.

The award would be made through the Commission's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, created by Assembly Bill 118. For the current fiscal year, the program is slated to invest approximately $90 million to encourage the development and use of new technologies, and alternative and renewable fuels, to help the state meet its climate-change goals. It is funded through vehicle and boat registration fees, as well as smog check and license plate fees.

When: 9 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 28

Where: California Energy Commission
Hearing Room A - First Floor
1516 Ninth Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

Online: The business meeting is broadcast via WebEx, the Energy Commission's online meeting service. To listen to the meeting and view any presentations, please use the following link: You may also go to and enter Meeting Number 921 667 529. The meeting password is mtg@900am .

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The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. Created by the Legislature in 1974 and located in Sacramento, six basic responsibilities guide the Energy Commission as it sets state energy policy: forecasting future energy needs; licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts or larger; promoting energy efficiency and conservation by setting the state's appliance and building efficiency standards; supporting public interest energy research that advances energy science and technology through research, development, and demonstration programs; developing renewable energy resources and alternative renewable energy technologies for buildings, industry and transportation; planning for and directing state response to energy emergencies.

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