About the Biofuels Center
The long-term task of the Biofuels Center of North Carolina is to develop a statewide biofuels industry sector to reduce the state's dependence on imported petroleum. The Center's mandate to do so is from the General Assembly and the framework for doing so is provided by North Carolina's Strategic Plan for Biofuels Leadership.
The goal of North Carolina’s Strategic Plan for Biofuels Leadership is to replace 10% of liquid fuels sold in North Carolina with biofuels locally grown and produced within 10 years. To accomplish this goal, the Biofuels Center is using a comprehensive approach to connect low-cost, sustainably-grown cellulosic feedstocks to appropriate technologies to produce advanced biofuels at scale across North Carolina.
A Comprehensive Agency
The Biofuels Center of North Carolina is the nation's only agency working comprehensively over time for all aspects of biofuels development. It is a private non-profit corporation charged with developing a large-scale, statewide biofuels industry sector to provide alternatives to imported petroleum fuels. The Center assists all parties statewide involved in the science, growing, production, and logistics of biofuels, and also addresses the educational, public information, and policy issues of a growing new sector.
The Biofuels Center is based in Oxford on North Carolina's Biofuels Campus. The Biofuels Campus is a partnership project with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Over the next decade, the Campus will take shape as the nation's only large acreage site for biofuels trial growing, company incubation and partnerships, demonstration facilities, and public education.
The Center is permanently funded by the North Carolina General Assembly to implement North Carolina's Strategic Plan over time and to help make the state more energy independent. In 2007, the General Assembly created the Biofuels Center to implement the plan so that the state's farmers, biofuels manufacturers, biofuels workers, and consumers will benefit from this new multimillion dollar home-grown industry. To do so, the Center was funded with a $5 million initial appropriation from the 2007 General Assembly.
The Biofuels Center originated from legislation introduced by North Carolina House Representative Jim Crawford and North Carolina Senator Charlie Albertson. The outcome of their legislative efforts was Senate Bill 2051, mandating the statewide biofuels Strategic Plan; the companion bill in the House was House Bill 1990. The resulting Strategic Plan was derived from input from more than 70 participants including leaders in agriculture, academia, state government, NGOs, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center, and others. The plan and these bills were instrumental in the creation of the Biofuels Center to meet the mandate of the Strategic Plan. The creation of the Biofuels Center to implement the Strategic Plan is, in fact, Strategy II.
The General Assembly demonstrated its continuing support for the mission of the Biofuels Center of North Carolina during the short session in 2008. Representatives James W. Crawford, Jr., and Edith D. Warren introduced House Bill 2109, and Senator Doug Berger introduced Senate Bill 1655 along with nine co-sponsors to provide continuing operational funding for the Biofuels Center in the 2008-2009 fiscal year. Support from the House and Senate ensured that the Biofuels Center was able to continue building a new biofuels industry in North Carolina.
In the 2009-2010 fiscal year, the Biofuels Center continued to receive funding from the General Assembly with a portion of its $5 million appropriation coming from the U.S. Department of Energy's stimulus funds. Representatives Crawford and Ty Harrell introduced House Bill 400, and Senator Albertson introduced Senate Bill 841.
In the 2010-2011 fiscal year, despite the difficulties of a tight budget and the economic downturn, the North Carolina General Assembly affirmed it's commitment to ensuring the state has alternatives to petroleum dependence and the need for long-term energy security policy and planning. Although North Carolina faced a budget shortfall, the General Assembly included the Biofuels Center's $5 million appropriation in the recurring budget with support from both sides of the aisle.
The Center's budget was approved for the 2011-2012 fiscal year with a 10% reduction due to the state's difficulties as a result of the economic downturn.
The Center received $4.3 million in the 2012-2013 budget. The $2,063,035 state appropriation was supplemented with $2,240,000 from Tennessee Valley Authority settlement funds.