One of the Valley’s only sugarcane crops grows in a field owned by Steve Benson, who is chief agricultural officer for California Ethanol + Power. The stand will help provide the biomass needed to source CE+P’s Sugar Valley Energy biofuel plant, which is slated to start construction by 2022. | CAMILO GARCIA JR. PHOTO
BRAWLEY — California Ethanol and Power has hired two El Centro firms to design and process site improvements for the development of Sugar Valley Energy, CE+P’s ethanol biorefinery, bioelectric generation and wastewater treatment facilities on a 160-acre campus south of Brawley.
DuBose Design Group and LC Engineering Consultants will do the work on the Sugar Valley Energy project, which is scheduled to start construction in 2022 near Keystone Road in the unincorporated area of the county between Brawley and Imperial.
The two local firms will be responsible for preparing construction plans, related engineering studies and agency submittals for a private water supply canal and other related improvements, Nathan deBoom, vice president of Permitting and Business Development for CE+P, sated in a press release.
“CE+P is committed to partnering with Imperial County businesses to make the Sugar Valley Energy campus a reality,” deBoom said in a press release. “These particular firms are highly experienced and therefore well suited to undertake these first stages of infrastructure work, and we are glad to welcome them to the team.”
A recent independent economic benefit study prepared for the project estimates that development and construction of Sugar Valley Energy will generate $928 million in economic activity in Imperial County and more than 9,000 construction jobs, according to the press release.
“We are delighted to be working on the Sugar Valley Energy project,” stated Tom DuBose, president of DuBose Design Group, in the release. “Sugar Valley Energy is an important project in terms of helping California reduce pollution by further diversifying its energy sources and is a much-needed generator of jobs and revenue for Imperial County.”
CE+P is a development company that intends to develop, construct, operate and own numerous facilities that will convert locally grown sugarcane into “Essential Ethanol,” a trademarked sustainable, renewable and extremely low-carbon transportation fuel that will assist California in meeting its Assembly Bill 32 requirements, the press release states.
Passed in 2006, the California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) requires California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 — a reduction of approximately 15 percent below emissions expected under a “business as usual” scenario. Pursuant to AB 32, the California Air Resources Board must adopt regulations to achieve the maximum technologically feasible and cost-effective greenhouse gas emission reductions, according to the CARB website.
The most recent California Green Innovation Index published in December 2020, shows that 2018 (the latest available data) greenhouse gas emissions rose overall for the first time since 2012 partly due to increases in the power and commercial sectors, according to independent publication, Green Car Congress. California must reduce emissions by an average of 4.9 percent each year from 2020 to 2030 to cut emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, as mandated by AB 32.
CE+P is committed to employing processes and equipment that are both commercially proven and financeable, while also meeting California’s stringent environmental regulations, according to the press release.