Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., says Western Biomass Energy, which converts wood chips from the Black Hills into renewable fuels, has been selected to take part in the Biomass Crop Assistance Program.
In a release, Thune said he wrote the program, which is part of the 2008 federal farm bill.
Thune says Western Biomass Energy will use funding from the program to offset the feedstock cost associated with their pilot biorefinery in Upton, Wyo., that refines cellulosic ethanol from South Dakota wood chips.
He says that starting early next year, the program also will provide per-acre payments for the production of energy dedicated crops.
Thune says starting the program is a big step toward incorporating more of the nation's resources into its energy strategy.