Biofuels Center convenes Western North Carolina Biofuels Advisory Council

On 14 September 2012, the Biofuels Center of North Carolina convened a group of biofuels leaders from western North Carolina at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville. The initial meeting of the Western North Carolina Biofuels Advisory Council focused on the Biofuels Center’s grants program for 2012-2013, which will specifically target the western region of the state. The grant program will utilize a significant portion of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) settlement funds that were directed to the Center by the North Carolina General Assembly in the 2012 legislative session.

The Council included 20 participants representing a wide range of vantage points, including biofuels producers, economic developers, local governments, educational institutions, and environmental nonprofits. Council members stressed the importance of collaboration and partnership in the development of biofuels projects in western North Carolina. The Council discussed building on existing efforts—for example, the Evolve Energy partnership being led by AdvantageWest and Land of Sky Council of Governments—to develop and brand this part of North Carolina as a clean energy hub.

The Center will continue its outreach efforts to the western region of the state in the upcoming months. A full request for proposals (RFP) will be announced in late September.