IMPERIAL COUNTY — A California-based sugarcane ethanol renewable energy company was granted by unanimous vote a four-year extension for a sales and use tax exclusion (STE) by the Board of the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAEATFA) Monday, November 25, according to a press release.
In 2013, California Ethanol & Power, LLC (CE+P) was first awarded a sales and tax exclusion of $37,230,704 for the purchase of up to $444,811,275 in qualified property to construct a facility that converts sugarcane into low-carbon, fuel-grade ethanol, bio-methane, and electricity.
“CE+P is pleased to have been awarded the second-largest amount out of 222 awardees. Since the program’s inception, waivers totaling over $825 million averaged $3.7 million each, making CE+P’s award roughly ten times the average granted,” said President and CEO Dave Rubenstein.
CE+P intends to convert California-grown sugarcane into sustainable low-carbon energy that will be blended into the California transportation fuel market. CE+P intends to develop, finance, install, own, and operate a series of projects that grow sugarcane, extract, and ferment the juice into fuel-grade ethanol, convert the remaining biomass into electricity, produce bio-methane and fertilizer feed stock from the fermentation process residue, and sell the field residue for forage or electricity generation.
The press release stated CAEATFA’s STE program strives to further California’s mission to encourage the development of alternative energy and advanced transportation. The program incentivizes manufacturers to stimulate the economy with the creation of high-paying jobs. CE+P intends to generate a stable revenue stream for local growers with sugarcane as an alternative and sustainable crop, create an estimated 300 permanent green and technical jobs, and spur ancillary growth and economic opportunity in Imperial County.
In 2016, the CAEATFA board approved a four-year extension of the initial term of the agreement, concluding that an extension was in the public’s interest and advanced the purpose of the STE program.
“On November 19 of this year, CE+P requested and was approved for a four-year extension to accommodate our intense efforts to finalize an engineer, procurement and construction price for our facility, and to finalize the financing for our first project,” said Rubenstein.
CE+P has had considerable support, including the California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development ("GO-Biz"), which granted the company a $10 million income tax credit in 2019, one of their most significant awards. The program is designed to encourage the expansion of businesses and to create jobs in California, according to the release. CE+P has also received a $2.5 million grant from the Imperial Irrigation District ("IID"), and a $750,000 low-interest loan from Imperial County.
“The CAEATFA sales and use tax extension will help CE+P accelerate reaching financial close and a much anticipated ground-breaking,” said Rubenstein.
CAEATF works with public and private partners to provide innovative and effective financing solutions for California’s industries, assisting in reducing the State’s greenhouse gas emissions by increasing the development and deployment of renewable energy sources, energy efficiency, and advanced transportation and manufacturing technologies to reduce air pollution, conserve energy, and promote economic development and jobs.
CAEATFA supports California's mission to provide financial incentives to cutting-edge companies by offering a sales and use tax exclusion to manufacturers that promote alternative energy and advanced transportation. These manufacturers create thousands of high-paying, permanent jobs that bolster the State's economy, according to the release.
The STE program is currently authorized through 2020. For more information on CAEATFA, visit https://www.treasurer.ca.gov/caeatfa/index.asp.