Mascoma, a renewable fuels company based in Lebanon, NH, says it has been awarded $80 million by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to help design, build and operate a commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant in Kinross, MI.

That amount is in addition to $20 million in research-and-development funds previously awarded to the company by DOE. The balance of the estimated $232 million cost will be funded by Valero Energy Corporation and a grant from the State of Michigan.

"This DOE award is a significant milestone for Mascoma, and the biofuels industry, as it completes the financing for the development and construction of a first-of-its-kind 20 million gallon per year cellulosic ethanol facility in Kinross," says Bill Brady, the company’s president and CEO. "We are excited to apply our proprietary consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) technology platform to produce cellulosic ethanol on a commercial scale and thereby provide a low-cost, sustainable alternative to petroleum-based products."

The facility will convert hardwood pulp into ethanol. Construction is expected to start in the next three to six months, with completion set for late 2013. Kinross Cellulosic Ethanol LLC, a joint venture formed by Mascoma and Valero, will develop and operate the plant.