Ethanol potential fuels high hopes

US - Eyes focus on upstate as it emerges as alternative fuel hot spot
calendar icon 29 January 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
By November, the owners of Western New York Energy LLC say a new plant will begin taking corn and turning it into more than 50 million gallons of fuel annually.

The work is one of the first visible signs of the region's burgeoning ethanol economy, a transformation that in the last year-plus has placed the focus of the alternative energy industry squarely on upstate New York.

The Orleans County plant is one of several in various stages of production around upstate, three of them in the Rochester area. When all five plants are online, they will produce nearly 400 million gallons of ethanol annually, an amount equal to roughly 8 percent of all U.S. production in 2006.

And plans are under way to build a next-generation plant in Greece to produce cellulosic ethanol from sources such as switchgrass, wood and paper pulp. The 500,000-gallon-a-year plant would be the first of its kind in the United States and only the second in the world.

The result of all this? More than $525 million in investment, hundreds of direct and indirect jobs, and a place at the center of a quickly growing industry.

Source: Democrat and Chronicle
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