The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved an application by Southern States Power Co. Inc., to be included in the 2002 Bio-Energy subsidy program.ONTARIO, California 2002-02-15 [SolarAccess.com] The program was initiated by the USDA to support renewable fuel production as a result of the growing national interest in developing renewable energy sources. Under the subsidy, the company will be reimbursed quarterly for purchases of bio-based feedstock used in the production of biodiesel. “Approval of the company’s application represents an important step in development of Southern States as a biodiesel producer and is another milestone in its expanding corporate strategy, putting Southern States in an ideal position to capture a substantial portion of the regional market,” said Harrison A. McCoy III, CEO of Southern States Power Co. “This program also assists U.S. efforts to establish homeland energy security and shift payments from foreign oil interests to America’s farmers, assisting in the overall health of domestic agriculture.” All biodiesel produced from soy oil by Southern States Power Co. for fiscal year 2002, up to a maximum amount of $7.5 million, will be eligible under the Bio-Energy subsidy program. The subsidy includes biodiesel produced from the Coachella joint-venture plant, as well as any soy-based biodiesel produced at planned facilities in Reno, Nevada, Phoenix, Arizona and Sacramento, California. In 2001, the USDA approved agreements with 79 plants in 19 states for participation in the Bio-Energy Program, designed to expand industrial uses of agricultural commodities. As a result of the program, bio-energy production was expected to increase to 246.2 million gallons of ethanol and 36.5 million gallons of bio-diesel.